Acova

Generic Name: argatroban (ar GAT roe ban)
Brand Name: Acova

What is Acova (argatroban)?

Argatroban keeps the platelets in your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots that can occur while receiving heparin

Argatroban is used to treat or prevent blood clots in people who have thrombocytopenia (low levels of platelets in the blood) caused by using heparin. Argatroban is sometimes used in people who are undergoing a procedure called angioplasty (to open blocked arteries).

Argatroban may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Acova (argatroban)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to argatroban, or if you have any major bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other medical trauma.

Argatroban is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, aspirin is sometimes given with argatroban, and aspirin can cause bleeding when it is taken during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Aspirin can also cause side effects in a newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

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Before receiving argatroban, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, a stomach ulcer or bleeding, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure, if you have recently had a spinal tap or epidural anesthesia, or if you have recently had major surgery (especially on your eyes, brain, or spinal cord).

Tell your doctor if you are using or receiving blood thinners or any other medications used to treat or prevent blood clots.

Because argatroban keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, it can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving Acova (argatroban)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to argatroban, or if you have any major bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other medical trauma.

To make sure you can safely use argatroban, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a stomach ulcer or bleeding;

  • liver disease;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder (such as hemophilia);

  • untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension);

  • if you have recently had a spinal tap or epidural anesthesia; or

  • if you have recently had major surgery (especially eye surgery, brain surgery, or spinal cord surgery).

Argatroban is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, aspirin is sometimes given with argatroban, and aspirin can cause bleeding when it is taken during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Aspirin can also cause side effects in a newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether argatroban passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is argatroban given?

Argatroban is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Argatroban is sometimes given together with aspirin.

If you are receiving this injection during an angioplasty procedure, the medicine will be given throughout the entire procedure and for up to 24 hours after the procedure.

Argatroban is given around the clock until your blood coagulates properly. Your doctor will test your blood often to determine how long to treat you with argatroban.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Because argatroban keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, it can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since argatroban is given by a healthcare professional, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving Acova (argatroban)?

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.

Acova (argatroban) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • blood in your urine;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • any bleeding that will not stop;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • sudden severe headache, confusion, sudden changes in your senses of taste or touch;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath;

  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, slow breathing (breathing may stop); or

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • headache;

  • back pain; or

  • bleeding around the IV needle.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Acova (argatroban)?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use or have recently received to prevent blood clots, such as:

  • a blood thinner such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • abciximab (ReoPro), anagrelide (Agrylin), cilostazol (Pletal), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine, Aggrenox), eptifibatide (Integrelin), prasugrel (Effient), ticlopidine (Ticlid), tirofiban (Aggrastat);

  • dabigatran (Pradaxa), bivalirudin (Angiomax), lepirudin (Refludan);

  • dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), fondaparinux (Arixtra), tinzaparin (Innohep); or

  • alteplase (Activase), tenecteplase (TNKase), urokinase (Abbokinase).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with argatroban. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about argatroban.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2011-12-14, 4:36:39 PM.

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