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Brand name: Thrombin-JMI
Drug class: Hemostatics
CAS number: 9002-04-4

Medically reviewed by on Jan 24, 2022. Written by ASHP.


  • Use of topical thrombin (bovine) can stimulate antibody formation against bovine thrombin and/or bovine factor V, potentially resulting in severe hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications; rarely fatal. (See Antibody Formation under Cautions.)

  • Consult expert in coagulation disorders if patient exhibits abnormal coagulation test results, bleeding, or thrombosis. Do not readminister drug to patients with evidence of anti-bovine thrombin antibodies.


Hemostatic agent.

Uses for Thrombin


Aids hemostasis at accessible sites of oozing blood and minor bleeding from capillaries and small venules. In various types of surgery, may be used in conjunction with an absorbable gelatin sponge.

Does not control arterial bleeding when used alone.

Thrombin Dosage and Administration


  • The concentration of thrombin solutions used depends on the severity of bleeding.


Topical Administration

Apply topically as a powder or solution; do not inject.

Prepare and administer solution according to manufacturer's recommendations. Use solution promptly upon removal from container.

Spray reconstituted solution directly onto bleeding surfaces (using a sterile syringe and spray tip, spray pump and actuator, or nasal delivery device) or apply with an absorbable gelatin sponge; do not leave solution in syringe as an intermediate step when preparing the spray delivery device.

Alternatively, flood surfaces with thrombin solution using a sterile syringe and small gauge needle. To avoid inadvertent intravascular administration, label syringes containing reconstituted thrombin (bovine) with a warning against IV injection and keep separate from parenteral preparations.

May apply as a dry powder; preferred method of application to oozing surfaces in some cases.

May use in conjunction with a bovine gelatin-based hemostatic matrix (e.g., FloSeal NT).

Before application, sponge (do not wipe) recipient surface free of blood; otherwise, blood may clot on surface layers while bleeding continues underneath clot. After application, avoid sponging treated areas so clot is not disturbed.

When used with an absorbable gelatin sponge, immerse sponge strips of the desired size in the solution and knead vigorously with moistened, gloved fingers to remove trapped air and facilitate saturation. Apply the saturated sponge to the bleeding area and hold in place with a cotton pledget or small gauze sponge until hemostasis occurs. Consult manufacturer's information for detailed instructions on use of absorbable gelatin sponge preparations.


To prepare a solution containing 1000 units/mL of thrombin (bovine), transfer entire contents of the supplied diluent vial (5 or 20 mL) to a vial containing 5000 or 20,000 units, respectively, of lyophilized thrombin via a syringe or transfer needle. Consult manufacturer's instructions for appropriate use of the transfer device.

Use an appropriate volume of the 0.9% sodium chloride diluent to prepare other concentrations.




Plastic surgery, dental extractions, skin grafting, other general uses: Solutions containing approximately 100 units/mL are frequently used.

Profuse bleeding (e.g., from cut surfaces of the liver or spleen): Solutions containing 1000 units/mL may be required.

Cautions for Thrombin


  • Known sensitivity to any ingredient in the formulation and/or to material of bovine origin.



Effects on Hemostasis

Because of its hemostatic activity, thrombin should not be injected or otherwise allowed to enter large blood vessels; may result in extensive intravascular clotting and even death.

Abnormalities in hemostasis reported, ranging from asymptomatic alterations in coagulation test results (e.g., PT, PTT) to severe bleeding or thrombosis (rarely fatal); may be related to antibody formation. (See Antibody Formation under Cautions.)

Consult an expert in coagulation disorders if patient exhibits abnormal coagulation test results, bleeding, or thrombosis. Consider underlying immunologic mechanisms with any contemplated intervention.

Sensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Anaphylaxis with profound bradycardia and hypotension reported rarely.

Potential allergic reactions in patients sensitive to bovine materials.

Antibody Formation

Can stimulate antibody formation against bovine thrombin and/or bovine factor V (a potential contaminant in some bovine thrombin preparations). Such antibodies may cross-react with human factor V, potentially resulting in a factor V deficiency and hemorrhagic complications; paradoxical thrombosis also has occurred. (See Effects on Hemostasis under Cautions.) Antibodies may develop as early as 8 days after use and may persist for months to years following initial exposure. Not known whether highly purified preparations (i.e., containing no detectable levels of factor Va) are associated with reduced risk of immunogenicity.

Patients with evidence of anti-bovine thrombin antibodies should not be reexposed to the drug; increased likelihood of antibody formation with repeated application.

General Precautions

Concomitant Absorbable Gelatin Sponge

Consult prescribing information for absorbable gelatin sponge preparations when used concomitantly.

Specific Populations


Category C.

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy not established.





2–25°C. May refrigerate reconstituted solution at 2–8°C for up to 24 hours or store at room temperature for up to 8 hours.


  • Causes clotting of whole blood or plasma without the addition of other substances. Affects hemostasis principally by converting fibrinogen to fibrin; several other mechanisms (e.g., stimulation of platelet release reaction, aggregation of platelets) may be involved.

  • Rate of blood clotting depends on concentration of thrombin and fibrinogen.

  • Does not clot blood when clotting defect is the rare absence of fibrinogen.

Advice to Patients

  • Importance of informing clinician of allergy to bovine materials. (See Cautions.)

  • Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.

  • Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs.

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information. (See Cautions.)


Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.

Thrombin (Bovine)


Dosage Forms


Brand Names




5000 units

Thrombin-JMI (with 0.9% sodium chloride diluent)


Thrombin-JMI (with 0.9% sodium chloride diluent; epistaxis kit also contains nasal delivery device and syringe)


20,000 units

Thrombin-JMI (with 0.9% sodium chloride diluent)


Thrombin-JMI (with 0.9% sodium chloride diluent; syringe spray kit also contains sterile syringe with transfer device and spray tip)


Thrombin-JMI (with 0.9% sodium chloride diluent; pump spray kit also contains spray pump and actuator)


AHFS DI Essentials™. © Copyright 2022, Selected Revisions February 1, 2010. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

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