Skip to Content

Heparin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to heparin: injectable, solution

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

If any of the following side effects occur while taking heparin, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

Less common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain or swelling
  • back pain or backaches
  • bleeding from the gums when brushing teeth
  • blood in the urine
  • constipation
  • coughing up blood
  • dizziness
  • headaches, severe or continuing
  • heavy bleeding or oozing from cuts or wounds
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • menstrual bleeding, unexpected or unusually heavy
  • unexplained bruising or purplish areas on the skin
  • unexplained nosebleeds
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Rare
  • Blood under the skin (blood blister) at the place of injection
  • chest pain
  • chills or fever
  • fast or irregular breathing
  • irritation, pain, redness, or ulcers at the place of injection
  • itching and burning feeling, especially on the bottom of the feet
  • nausea or vomiting
  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • pain, coldness, or blue color of the skin on the arms or legs
  • peeling of the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes
  • shortness of breath
  • skin color change, especially near the place of injection or in the fingers, toes, arms, or legs
  • skin rash, hives, or itching
  • tearing of the eyes
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble with breathing
  • wheezing

Side Effects: Post Treatment

After you stop taking this drug, it is possible that you may still experience side effects that need medical attention. If you notice any of the following side effects check with your doctor immediately:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially calves of legs
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • severe headaches of sudden onset
  • sudden loss of coordination
  • sudden shortness of breath for no apparent reason
  • sudden slurred speech
  • sudden vision changes
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to heparin: injectable kit, injectable solution, intravenous solution

General

The most common adverse reaction was hemorrhage.[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Postmarketing reports: Hemorrhage, retroperitoneal hemorrhage[Ref]

Hematologic

Very common (10% or more): Thrombocytopenia (up to 30%)
Frequency not reported: Plasma lipoprotein lipase increased
Postmarketing reports: Heparin resistance[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Conjunctivitis, cyanosis, tachypnea, feeling of oppression, angioneurotic edema, anaphylactic shock
Postmarketing reports: Chills, fever, urticaria, asthma, rhinitis, lacrimation, headache, nausea, vomiting, anaphylactoid reactions, shock, itching, burning[Ref]

Local

Frequency not reported: Erythematous nodules, infiltrated and sometimes eczema-like plaques
Postmarketing reports: Local irritation, erythema, mild pain, hematoma, ulceration, histamine-like reactions, skin necrosis[Ref]

Immunologic

Frequency not reported: Allergic reactions, hypereosinophilia
Postmarketing reports: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis, generalized hypersensitivity reactions[Ref]

Endocrine

Frequency not reported: Hypoaldosteronism
Postmarketing reports: Adrenal hemorrhage, acute adrenal insufficiency, fatal adrenal hemorrhage, aldosterone synthesis suppressed[Ref]

Metabolic

Frequency not reported: Plasma potassium increased, hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis
Postmarketing reports: Rebound hyperlipidemia[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Frequency not reported: Significant bone demineralization, spontaneous bone fracture
Postmarketing reports: Osteoporosis[Ref]

Dermatologic

Frequency not reported: Ecchymoses
Postmarketing reports: Cutaneous necrosis, delayed transient alopecia[Ref]

Hepatic

Frequency not reported: Serum transaminases increased
Postmarketing reports: ALT elevated significantly, AST elevated significantly[Ref]

Genitourinary

Postmarketing reports: Ovarian hemorrhage, priapism[Ref]

Renal

Frequency not reported: Renal function suppression[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. "Product Information. Heparin Sodium (heparin)." Lilly, Eli and Company, Indianapolis, IN.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

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

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Hide