Desirudin

Generic Name: desirudin (DES-i-ROO-din)
Brand Name: Iprivask

Tell your doctor you use desirudin before you have any type of spinal puncture or epidural/spinal anesthesia. Patients who have these procedures while they use desirudin are at risk of developing a blood clot on or near the spinal cord. This could result in long-term or permanent paralysis.

The risk is increased in patients who have an indwelling epidural catheter, traumatic or repeated epidural or spinal puncture, or a history of a deformed spine or spinal surgery, and in patients who use medicines that may affect blood clotting, such as warfarin, aspirin, platelet inhibitors (eg, clopidogrel), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen).

If you have a spinal puncture or epidural/spinal anesthesia while you use desirudin, tell your doctor right away if you notice any signs or symptoms of nerve problems, such as numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, or paralysis.


Desirudin is used for:

Preventing blood clots in patients having hip replacement surgery. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Desirudin is a thrombin inhibitor. It works by blocking the activity of thrombin, which helps to prevent the formation of blood clots.

Do NOT use desirudin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in desirudin or to another hirudin (eg, lepirudin)
  • you have active major bleeding or bleeding problems that cannot be stopped

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using desirudin:

Some medical conditions may interact with desirudin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bleeding problems (eg, hemophilia), blood vessel problems, or an increased risk of bleeding
  • if you have recently had any kind of surgery, a head injury, a stroke, a certain blood collection procedure (eg, arterial puncture), or an organ biopsy
  • if you have a heart infection (eg, bacterial endocarditis), a certain adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma), severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, liver problems (eg, cirrhosis), or kidney problems
  • if you have a history of bleeding in the brain, lungs, or eyes; bleeding stomach ulcers; or you have eye problems caused by diabetes (diabetic retinopathy)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with desirudin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin, heparin), dextran 40, dipyridamole, glucocorticoids (eg, prednisone), glycoprotein IIb/IIa inhibitors (eg, abciximab), NSAIDs (eg, ketorolac, ibuprofen), platelet aggregation inhibitors (eg, ticlopidine, clopidogrel), salicylates (eg, aspirin), sulfinpyrazone, or thrombolytics (eg, streptokinase) because the risk of bleeding problems may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if desirudin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use desirudin:

Use desirudin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Desirudin is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using desirudin at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use desirudin. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor. Inject deep under the skin, NOT into muscle.
  • Do not mix desirudin with other injections.
  • Do not use desirudin if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of desirudin, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use desirudin.

Important safety information:

  • Lab tests, including blood pressure, kidney function, blood clotting, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use desirudin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use desirudin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use desirudin with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if desirudin can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using desirudin while you are pregnant. It is not known if desirudin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use desirudin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of desirudin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Redness or discomfort at the injection site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); back pain; black or bloody stools; confusion; dark or bloody urine; fainting; fever; increased drainage or oozing from a wound; mass at the injection site; nausea or vomiting; one-sided weakness; severe or persistent dizziness, tiredness, or weakness; slurred speech; swelling of the legs; tingling or numbness (especially in the legs and feet) and muscle weakness; unusual or severe bleeding or bruising; vision problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of desirudin:

Desirudin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using desirudin at home, store desirudin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep desirudin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about desirudin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Desirudin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take desirudin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about desirudin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to desirudin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using desirudin.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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