Generic Name: Heparin (HEP a rin)
Uses of Heparin:
- It is used to thin the blood so that clots will not form.
- It is used to treat blood clots.
- It is used to keep blood from clotting in catheters.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Heparin?
- If you are allergic to heparin; any part of heparin; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are allergic to pork products, talk with the doctor.
- If you have any of these health problems: Bleeding problems or low platelet count.
- If you have had a low platelet count caused by heparin or pentosan polysulfate.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with heparin.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take heparin with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Heparin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take heparin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Severe and sometimes deadly bleeding problems have happened with heparin.
- This medicine has caused a problem called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT that leads to blood clots is called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HITT). HIT and HITT can be deadly or cause other problems. They can happen up to several weeks after stopping heparin. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take heparin.
- If you fall or hurt yourself, or if you hit your head, call your doctor right away. Talk with your doctor even if you feel fine.
- Be sure you have the right product. This medicine comes in many containers and strengths. If you have any questions, call your doctor or pharmacist.
- If you are allergic to sulfites, talk with your doctor. Some products have sulfites.
- If you are over the age of 60, use heparin with care. You could have more side effects.
- Some products have benzyl alcohol. Do not give a product that has benzyl alcohol in it to a newborn or infant. Talk with the doctor to see if this product has benzyl alcohol in it.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Heparin) best taken?
Use heparin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It may be given into a catheter, as a shot into a vein or the fatty part of the skin, or as an infusion into a vein over a period of time. Talk with the doctor if you have questions.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Feeling confused.
- Very bad headache.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Shortness of breath.
- Back pain.
- Groin or pelvic pain or swelling.
- Change in skin color where the shot was given.
- Skin breakdown where heparin is used.
- Fever or chills.
What are some other side effects of Heparin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Heparin?
- If you need to store heparin at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about heparin, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.