Generic Name: heparin (injection) (HEP a rin)
Brand Name: Hep-Pak (obsolete), Heparin Lock Flush (obsolete), Hep-Pak CVC (obsolete), Hep-Lock (obsolete), Heparin Sodium ADD-Vantage
Medically reviewed on November 14, 2017
What is heparin injection?
Heparin is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots.
Heparin is used to treat and prevent blood clots caused by certain medical conditions or medical procedures. Heparin is also used before surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.
Do not use heparin injection to flush (clean out) an intravenous (IV) catheter. A separate heparin product is available to use as catheter lock flush. Using the wrong type of heparin to flush a catheter can result in fatal bleeding.
Heparin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use heparin injection to flush (clean out) an intravenous (IV) catheter, or fatal bleeding could result. A separate heparin product is available to use as catheter lock flush.
You should not use heparin if you have uncontrolled bleeding or a severe lack of platelets in your blood.
Heparin increases your risk of bleeding, which can be severe or life-threatening. You will need frequent tests to measure your blood-clotting time.
Call your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have unusual bleeding or bruising, severe stomach or back pain, unusual tiredness, a nosebleed, blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood, or any bleeding that will not stop.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use heparin if you are allergic to heparin or pork products, or if you have:
a severe lack of platelets in your blood; or
To make sure heparin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
an infection of the lining of your heart (also called bacterial endocarditis);
uncontrolled high blood pressure;
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
a stomach or intestinal disorder;
if you are having a menstrual period.
It is not known whether heparin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Heparin injection is not likely to pass into breast milk, but you should tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
How should I use heparin injection?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Heparin is injected under the skin or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.
Do not use the medicine if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
You may be switched from injectable heparin to an oral (taken by mouth) blood thinner. Do not stop using the heparin until your doctor tells you to. You may need to use both the injection and the oral forms of heparin for a short time.
Heparin increases your risk of bleeding, which can be severe or life-threatening. You will need frequent tests to measure your blood-clotting time. The timing of these tests is very important in helping your doctor determine whether it is safe for you to continue using heparin.
If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, tell the care provider ahead of time that you are using heparin.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of heparin.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include easy bruising, nosebleeds, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools, or any bleeding that will not stop.
What should I avoid while using heparin injection?
Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others. Using an NSAID with heparin may cause you to bleed more easily.
Heparin injection side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: nausea, vomiting, sweating, hives, itching, trouble breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or feeling like you might pass out.
Heparin may cause you to bleed more easily, which can be severe or life-threatening. You may also have bleeding on the inside of your body. Seek emergency medical attention if you have:
any unusual bleeding or bruising;
severe pain in your stomach, lower back, or groin;
swelling or bruising in your lower stomach or groin area;
nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
any bleeding that will not stop; or
other signs of bleeding, such as a nosebleed, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Heparin can cause you to have bleeding episodes while you are using it and for several weeks after you stop.
Stop using heparin and call your doctor at once if you have:
trouble breathing; or
(in an infant) extreme drowsiness, weakness, or gasping for breath.
Women over 60 years of age may be more likely to have bleeding episodes while using heparin.
Common side effects may include:
mild pain, redness, warmth, or skin changes where the medicine was injected;
mild itching of your feet; or
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 heparin injection?
Using certain medicines with heparin can cause you to bleed more easily. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. 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: 12.01.
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