What is this medicine?
HEPARIN (HEP a rin) is an anticoagulant. It is used to treat or prevent clots in the veins, arteries, lungs, or heart. It stops clots from forming or getting bigger. This medicine prevents clotting during open-heart surgery, dialysis, or in patients who are confined to bed.
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is given by injection or infusion into a vein. It can also be given by injection of small amounts under the skin. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. Stopping this medicine may increase your risk of a blot clot. Be sure to refill your prescription before you run out of medicine.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
signs and symptoms of bleeding such as bloody or black, tarry stools; red or dark-brown urine; spitting up blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds; red spots on the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding from the eye, gums, or nose
signs and symptoms of a blood clot such as chest pain; shortness of breath; pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg
signs and symptoms of a stroke such as changes in vision; confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; severe headaches; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; trouble walking; dizziness; loss of coordination
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
medicines for treating colds or allergies
NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store unopened vials at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Do not use if solution is discolored or particulate matter is present. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia or low blood platelets
bowel disease or diverticulitis
high blood pressure
recent surgery or delivery of a baby
an unusual or allergic reaction to heparin, benzyl alcohol, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine. Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. It is important not to miss any appointments.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.
Notify your doctor or health care professional at once if you have cold, blue hands or feet.
If you are going to have surgery or other procedure, tell your doctor that you are using this medicine.
Avoid sports and activities that might cause injury while you are using this medicine. Severe falls or injuries can cause unseen bleeding. Be careful when using sharp tools or knives. Consider using an electric razor.
Using this medicine for a long time may weaken your bones and increase the risk of bone fractures.
You should make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your healthcare professional.