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Desirudin Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 15, 2022.

Applies to desirudin: parenteral powder for injection.


    Spinal/Epidural Hematoma Risk
  • Risk of epidural or spinal hematomas and neurologic injury, including long-term or permanent paralysis, associated with concurrent use of selective thrombin inhibitors and neuraxial (spinal/epidural) anesthesia or spinal puncture.1

  • Risk increased by use of indwelling epidural catheters for administration of analgesia or by concomitant use of drugs affecting hemostasis (e.g., NSAIAs, platelet aggregation inhibitors, other anticoagulants).1

  • Risk also increased by traumatic or repeated epidural or spinal puncture.1

  • Monitor frequently for signs and symptoms of neurologic impairment and treat urgently if neurologic compromise noted.1

  • Consider potential benefits versus risks of spinal or epidural anesthesia or spinal puncture in patients receiving or being considered for thromboprophylaxis with anticoagulants. 1 (See Hemorrhagic Effects and also see Neurologic Effects under Cautions.)

Side effects include:

Hemorrhage, including hematoma, was most common adverse effect in clinical studies in patients undergoing elective total hip-replacement surgery.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to desirudin: subcutaneous powder for injection.


The most common adverse reaction was hemorrhage.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Any hemorrhage (30%)

Common (1% to 10%): Serious hemorrhage, deep vein thrombosis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Major hemorrhage

Frequency not reported: Thrombosis, hypotension

Postmarketing reports: Fatal hemorrhage[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Wound secretion

Frequency not reported: Leg edema, fever, healing impaired[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea

Frequency not reported: Vomiting, hematemesis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anemia

Frequency not reported: Hemoglobin decreased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Irritative skin reactions[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Injection site mass[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Allergic reaction, anti-hirudin antibodies

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Dizziness, cerebrovascular disorder[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hematuria[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Leg pain[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Epistaxis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Ipravask (desirudin)." Aventis Pharmaceuticals (2003):

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.