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  • Generic Name: (heparin sodium)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 07/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Heparin sodium injection is a blood thinner used to treat and reduce the risk of developing a blood clot in the legs, lungs, and arteries. It is also used to prevent blood clots in people undergoing certain types of surgeries. In addition, heparin sodium injection is used to treat atrial fibrillation (an irregular, fast heartbeat) in people who have an obstruction in their blood vessel. Additionally, it is used to treat disseminated intravascular coagulation (a bleeding and clotting disorder). Heparin sodium injection is also used to prevent the formation of clots during blood transfusions and dialysis. Heparin sodium injection is administered intravenously (through a vein in your arm) or subcutaneously (just below the skin).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Heparin sodium injection blocks the formation of substances in your body that help form blood clots, thereby lowering the chance of blood clots developing.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By lowering the chance of blood clots forming in your body, heparin sodium injection may reduce your risk of having a stroke, heart attack, or other serious conditions.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. 

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider will order tests regularly and may ask you questions from time to time to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: severe bleeding; decrease in platelet (a type of blood cells that form clots to help stop bleeding); mild pain, irritation, bruising, or redness at the site of injection.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Serious allergic reactions with symptoms such as trouble breathing, wheezing, chills, fever, rash, or swelling of your face, mouth, throat, or tongue.

      Decrease in platelet counts, with symptoms such as unusual bleeding or bruising, or a rash of dark red spots under your skin.

      Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (a serious and life-threatening condition that causes an irreversible accumulation of platelets) that may lead to blood clots throughout the body.

      Heparin sodium injection contains a preservative called benzyl alcohol. Benzyl alcohol can cause brain damage and other serious and possibly life-threatening side effects in newborns and premature babies. Preservative-free heparin sodium injection should be used in newborns and infants.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will not administer heparin sodium injection to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Your healthcare provider will not administer heparin sodium injection to you if you currently have active bleeding that cannot be controlled.

      Your healthcare provider will not administer heparin sodium injection to you if you have an abnormally low amount of platelets.

      Your healthcare provider will not administer heparin sodium injection to you if you have certain blood problems that interfere with blood tests.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with heparin sodium injection. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have bleeding problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure, stomach or intestinal ulcers, if you are scheduled for any surgery (including a dental procedure), or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your condition.

      Children: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her body weight and condition.

      If you are elderly, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

       

    • How should I take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will administer heparin sodium injection to you. Follow your healthcare provider's directions exactly while you are receiving heparin sodium injection.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not take any over-the-counter medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Do not miss any follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining heparin sodium injection with the following: aspirin, antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), blood thinners (such as warfarin), dextran, digoxin, dipyridamole, hydroxychloroquine, ibuprofen, indomethacin, nicotine, nitroglycerin, phenylbutazone, or tetracycline.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of heparin sodium injection during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Heparin sodium injection should be given under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will store this medication for you.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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    This discount plan is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. The plan is not intended as a substitute for insurance and does not meet creditable coverage requirements under state or federal law. The plan provides discounts at participating pharmacies on certain pharmaceutical supplies, prescription drugs, or medical equipment and supplies. The range of discounts will vary depending on the products received. Members are obligated to pay the pharmacy the entire amount of the discounted rate for such products at the point of sale. The plan does not pay pharmacies for products provided to members. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. The pharmacy may pay the plan a fee from amounts the pharmacy collects from the member. The discount plan organization is ProCare Pharmacy Benefit Manager, Inc.,1267 Professional Parkway, ProCare Office Park, Gainesville, GA 30507, 1-888-299-5383. Customer service is provided by PDR, LLC., 5 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ, 07645, 1-800-232-7379, www.pdr.net/DiscountCard, customerservice@pdr.net.