What is heparin?
Heparin is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots.
Heparin is used to treat and prevent blood clots in the veins, arteries, or lung. Heparin is also used before surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.
Heparin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to heparin, or if you have:
- a severe lack of platelets in your blood; or
- uncontrolled bleeding.
Before using heparin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- an infection of the lining of your heart (also called bacterial endocarditis);
- uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;
- a stomach or intestinal disorder;
- liver disease; or
- if you are having a menstrual period.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use heparin, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before using heparin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Women over 60 years of age may be more likely to have bleeding episodes while using heparin.
Avoid taking other medicines that can increase your risk of bleeding, such as aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) including ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include easy bruising, nosebleeds, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools, or any bleeding that will not stop.
Contact your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of heparin.
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Heparin can cause you to have bleeding episodes while you are using it and for several weeks after you stop. Call your doctor at once if you have easy bruising or unusual bleeding, such as a nosebleed, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools, or any bleeding that will not stop.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: nausea, vomiting, sweating, hives, itching, trouble breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or feeling like you might pass out..
Some people receiving a heparin injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel nauseated, light-headed, sweaty, or short of breath during or after a heparin injection.
Stop using heparin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- pain or swelling in one or both legs;
- trouble breathing; or
- fever, chills, runny nose, or watery eyes.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild pain, redness, warmth, or skin changes where the medicine was injected;
- mild itching of your feet; or
- bluish-colored skin.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before using heparin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- another blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin);
- salicylates such as aspirin, Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others;
- dipyridamole (Persantine);
- nicotine cigarettes, gum, lozenges, or skin patches;
- cold, allergy, or sleep medications (Allerest, Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, Dimetapp, Sominex, and others);
- hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, Quineprox);
- digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps); or
- demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with heparin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Hep-Lock, Hep-Pak, Hep-Pak CVC, Heparin Lock Flush, heparin, Heparin Lock Flush (obsolete), Hep-Lock (obsolete), Hep-Pak CVC (obsolete), and Hep-Pak (obsolete)
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04