HEPARIN (HEP a rin) is an anticoagulant. It is used to treat or prevent clots in the veins, arteries, lungs, or heart. It stops clots from forming or getting bigger. This medicine prevents clotting during open-heart surgery, dialysis, or in patients who are confined to bed.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia or low blood platelets
bowel disease or diverticulitis
high blood pressure
recent surgery or delivery of a baby
an unusual or allergic reaction to heparin, benzyl alcohol, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is given by injection or infusion into a vein. It can also be given by injection of small amounts under the skin. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
-aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
-medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
-medicines for treating colds or allergies
-NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
While you are taking this medicine, carry an identification card with your name, the name and dose of medicine(s) being used, and the name and phone number of your doctor or health care professional or person to contact in an emergency.
Notify your doctor or health care professional at once if you have cold, blue hands or feet, or any unusual bleeding. Monitor your skin closely for easy bruising or red spots, which can indicate bleeding.
If you are going to have surgery or dental work, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have received this medicine. Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick while receiving this medicine because you may bleed more easily.
Avoid sports and activities that might cause injury while you are using this medicine. Severe falls or injuries can cause unseen bleeding. Be careful when using sharp tools or knives. Consider using an electric razor.
Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.