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Ardeparin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to ardeparin: subcutaneous injectable, subcutaneous solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by ardeparin. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Stop taking ardeparin and get emergency help immediately if any of the following effects occur:

Less common:
  • Bleeding gums
  • coughing up blood
  • deep, dark purple bruise, pain, or swelling at the place of injection
  • difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
  • nosebleeds
  • paralysis
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • red or black, tarry stools
  • red or dark brown urine
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained pain, swelling, or discomfort, especially in the chest, abdomen, joints, or muscles
  • unusual bruising
  • vomiting of blood or coffee ground material
  • weakness
  • Back pain
  • burning, pricking, tickling, or tingling sensation
  • leg weakness
  • numbness
  • problems with bowel or bladder function
  • rash consisting of pinpoint, purple-red spots, often beginning on the legs

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking ardeparin, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

Less common:
  • Fever
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with ardeparin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common:
  • Nausea
  • pain at the injection site
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ardeparin: subcutaneous solution


Dose-related hematoma and injection site hemorrhage are the most commonly reported bleeding complications and may occur at any site in the body. However, the incidence of bleeding has been low (5% to 7% of patients). Ecchymosis has also been reported.[Ref]

Any unexplained decrease in blood pressure and/or hematocrit should prompt consideration of a possible hemorrhagic event.[Ref]


Patients undergoing spinal/epidural anesthesia or puncture and anticoagulated or scheduled to be anticoagulated with low molecular weight heparins or heparinoids are at risk for long-term or permanent paralysis due to epidural or spinal hematoma. The risk of these events is increased by the use of indwelling epidural catheters or by concomitant use of platelet inhibitors, other anticoagulants, or drugs that affect hemostasis.

Platelet counts of less than 100,000/mm3 have occurred in 2% of ardeparin-treated patients. Anemia has been reported in greater than 5% of patients. Rarely, post-operative thrombocytosis as well as immune-type thrombocytopenia has been reported. Platelet counts should be monitored in patients receiving ardeparin.[Ref]

A meta-analysis of published studies reported an overall incidence of major bleeding with low molecular weight heparins of 0.7% to 1.4%. Hematologic abnormalities also include thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, thrombosis, and hypochromic anemia.

Bleeding due to ardeparin can usually be controlled by discontinuing the ardeparin, applying pressure, and replacing blood volume as needed. If these measures are ineffective, or a known overdose has occurred in a bleeding patient, the manufacturer recommends that protamine sulfate may be used to neutralize the hemorrhagic effects of ardeparin. Protamine should be given at a dose of 1 mg protamine per 100 anti-Xa units of ardeparin.

Additional hemorrhagic events occurring in less than 2% of the studied population include epistaxis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hematemesis, hematuria, melena, petechiae, rectal hemorrhage, retroperitoneal hemorrhage, and guaiac-positive stools.

Patients previously exposed to unfractionated heparin or a low-molecular-weight heparin appear to be more susceptible to developing heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and HIT-related thromboembolic complications (e.g., transient ischemic attack, stroke) than those who were never exposed.

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an immune-mediated, prothrombotic reaction that occurs in 0.5% to 5% of patients treated with unfractionated heparin and in less than 1% of patients treated with a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). The decrease in platelet count associated with HIT usually begins 5 to 14 days after starting heparin. However, patients with a previous exposure to heparin may have an abrupt decrease in platelets upon restarting heparin. Patients with LMWH-induced HIT exhibit a longer delay in the onset of symptoms compared with those who develop it from unfractionated heparin. Following discontinuation, platelet counts begin to recover within 4 days, but may take more than 2 weeks in patients with high-titer HIT antibodies. Thrombocytopenia is caused by heparin-dependent IgG antibodies that bind to a specific platelet protein, platelet factor 4 (PF4). The heparin-PF4-IgG immune complex binds to platelets causing platelet activation. The activated platelets cause release of platelet-derived procoagulant microparticles, which accelerate coagulation reactions and generates thrombin. LMWHs have a high cross-reactivity with circulating heparin-PF4-IgG immune complex. Factors associated with a higher risk for developing HIT-associated thrombosis include women, nonwhites, severity of thrombocytopenia, and lower body weight. Complications associated with HIT include exacerbation of venous thromboembolism, arterial or venous thrombosis, limb gangrene, stroke, and skin necrosis. The antibodies that cause HIT will usually disappear after approximately 3 months; therefore, use of unfractionated heparin or LMWH may be considered in a patient with a history of HIT if the antibody test is negative.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal adverse effects occurred in greater than 5% of patients during initial clinical trials and included nausea, vomiting and constipation.[Ref]


Local adverse effects of subcutaneous injections include pain, erythema, and hematoma formation. Rarely, patients may experience painful, red indurations and necrosis at the injection site. Hematoma at the injection site occurs with a frequency of approximately 7%. Pruritis and rash may occur rarely.[Ref]


Hepatic adverse effects of ardeparin and other low molecular weight heparins include asymptomatic transient elevations in liver function tests (greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal) which rarely are associated with increases in bilirubin. The elevations in liver function test values are usually reversible and not clinically significant.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions may include urticaria and maculopapular or vesiculobullous rash.[Ref]


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2. Foo SY, Everett BM, Yeh RW, et al. "Prevalence of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization." Am Heart J 152 (2006): 290.e1-7

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10. Levine MN, Gent M, Hirsh J, Weitz J, Turpie AG, Powers P, Neemeh J, Willan A, Skingley P "Ardeparin (low-molecular-weight heparin) vs graduated compression stockings for the prevention of venous thromboembolism: a randomized trial in patients undergoing knee surgery." Arch Intern Med 156 (1996): 851-6

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21. Baroletti SA, Goldhaber SZ "Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia." Circulation 114 (2006): e355-6

Not all side effects for ardeparin may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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