Heparins

A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.

Heparin is an injectable anticoagulant that activates antithrombin III, which inhibits thrombin and factor Xa, factors necessary in the final stages of blood clotting cascade.

There are two types of heparins: high molecular weight heparins and low molecular weight heparins.

High molecular weight heparins require daily blood monitoring to check the aPTT. Low molecular weight heparins give a better anticoagulant response and do not need daily blood monitoring.

Heparin is used to treat or prevent clots in conditions where there is a high risk of clot formation and thromboembolism, such as in atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, knee and hip surgery and so on.

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