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Generic Name: lepirudin (le-PEER-u-din)
Brand Name: Refludan
Lepirudin is used for:
Thinning the blood and preventing blood clots in patients with low blood platelets caused by heparin. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Lepirudin is a thrombin inhibitor. It works by blocking the activity of thrombin, which helps to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Do NOT use lepirudin if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in lepirudin or to hirudins
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using lepirudin:
Some medical conditions may interact with lepirudin. 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, blood vessel problems, or have an increased risk of bleeding
- if you have recently had any kind of surgery, head injury, stroke, or organ biopsy
- if you have a heart infection (eg, bacterial endocarditis), severe uncontrolled high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, liver problems, or kidney problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with lepirudin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), medicines that affect platelet function (eg, dipyridamole), 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 lepirudin 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 lepirudin:
Use lepirudin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Lepirudin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using lepirudin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
- If lepirudin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
- If you miss a dose of lepirudin, contact your doctor immediately.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use lepirudin.
Important safety information:
- LAB TESTS, including blood pressure, blood clotting tests, and blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use lepirudin with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Use lepirudin with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking lepirudin, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using lepirudin during pregnancy. It is unknown if lepirudin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using lepirudin.
Possible side effects of lepirudin:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Redness or discomfort at the injection site.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black or bloody stools; confusion; dark urine; easy bruising or bleeding; fever; nausea or vomiting; one-sided weakness; slurred speech; vision problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing eyes or skin.
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 lepirudin:
Lepirudin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using lepirudin at home, store lepirudin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep lepirudin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about lepirudin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Lepirudin 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 lepirudin 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 lepirudin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to lepirudin. 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 lepirudin.