Generic Name: argatroban (ar GAT roe ban)
Brand Name: Acova
Medically reviewed on September 15, 2017.
What is argatroban?
Argatroban is used to treat or prevent blood clots in adults 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.
You should not use this medicine if you have any major bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other medical trauma.
Because argatroban keeps your blood from clotting, this medicine can make it easier for you to bleed. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have unusual bruising or any bleeding that will not stop.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use argatroban if you are allergic to it, or if you have active or uncontrolled bleeding.
To make sure argatroban is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a stomach ulcer or bleeding;
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder (such as hemophilia);
severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
a spinal tap or epidural anesthesia; or
major surgery (especially eye surgery, brain surgery, or spinal cord surgery).
Argatroban is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, taking argatroban during late pregnancy may cause bleeding in the mother or the baby during delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant while taking aspirin.
It is not known whether argatroban passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Argatroban is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
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, you may need frequent blood tests. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with argatroban.
Because argatroban keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, this medicine can also make it easier for you to bleed. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have unusual bruising, or any 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.
What should I avoid while receiving 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.
Argatroban side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
unexpected pain or swelling;
any bleeding that will not stop;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
urine that looks red, pink, or brown;
slow heart rate, weak pulse, slow breathing; or
signs of infection--fever, flu symptoms, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing.
Common side effects may include:
feeling short of breathing;
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 argatroban?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially other medicines to treat or prevent blood clots.
Other drugs may interact with argatroban, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
More about argatroban
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Drug class: thrombin inhibitors
Other brands: Acova