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Drug Guide

Heparin Sodium

    Subcut / IV
    Heparin Sodium

  • Mechanism of Action

  • Binds to and activates antithrombin III, which as a heparin-ATIII complex inactivates factors IIa (thrombin) and Xa
  • Pharmacology
  • Variable bioavailability, non-linear pharmacokinetics and unpredictable response.
  • Effective half-life is 90 minutes subcutaneously, or 30 minutes intravenously.
  • Reversed with protamine sulfate.

Clinical Use

  • Indications
  • Prevention of venous thromboembolism (DVT / PE)
  • Treatment of venous thromboembolism (DVT / PE)
  • ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)
  • Bridging anticoagulation for initiation / withholding of warfarin
  • Prevention of thrombosis during haemodialysis
  • Acute limb ischaemia (unfractionated heparin)
  • Adverse Effects
  • Haemorrhage
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopaenia (HIT) - thrombocytopaenia with arterial and venous thrombosis
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Skin necrosis
  • Monitoring

  • Intravenous heparin is monitored using activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). Alternatively (particularly in the setting of antiphospholipid syndrome), a heparin anti-factor Xa assay can be used.
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