Heparin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Heparin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Heparin?

Heparin is an anticoagulant that is injected into the arteries to prevent blood clots from developing. It is the most negatively charged biological molecule. Heparin for pharmaceutical use is made from the mucosal tissue of animals killed for meat, such as pigs and cattle. Low molecular weight Heparins were synthesized in 2011 as a result of research done between 2003 and 2008.

What are the uses of Heparin?

Heparin is a blood thinner. Therefore, it is used to treat and prevent blood clots in patients with specific medical problems or who have undergone medical procedures that increase the risk of clot formation. Venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and peripheral arterial embolism are some conditions. Heparin is also used to prevent blood clots after surgery, during blood transfusions, renal dialysis. It raises the amount of anti-clotting proteins in the circulation, thus allowing blood to flow freely.

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What are the side effects of Heparin?

Excessive Heparin usage can sometimes result in new blood clots, either while taking it or after cessation. If you suffer discomfort in the chest, groin, or legs, have trouble breathing, suffer severe headaches, lose coordination, or notice any vision problems, you should cease using Heparin immediately and seek medical assistance.
When Heparin’s influence on clotting proteins is too powerful, it might induce bleeding. You must contact your doctor if there are any indications of significant bleeding. These include prolonged bleeding in the gums or from wounds, recurrent nosebleeds, heavy or extended menstruation, dark urine, a tendency to bruise easily, black stools, dizziness, or severe headaches.
Regular alcohol intake alongside this raises the risk of a stomach hemorrhage. Patients should drink in moderation and consult their doctor about how much alcohol is safe to consume.

What is Heparin

Uses of Heparin

Side effects of Heparin


Frequently Asked Questions about Heparin

1. How to give Heparin injection?

Heparin must be injected into the fat layer beneath the skin. Slightly pinch the skin and insert the needle at a a 45° angle. Push the needle through to the other side of the skin. Allow the squeezed skin to fall away. Slowly and carefully inject the Heparin until it is completely absorbed.

2. What type of syringe is used for Heparin?

3mL syringes are preferred over 1mL syringes to administer Heparin. While using the 3mL syringe, the influence of additional injection-related factors should be investigated and evaluated on various groups. Heparin is injected deep subcutaneously in the arm or belly with a tiny needle (25- to 26-gauge) to avoid tissue damage.

3. Does Heparin lower blood pressure?

Yes, heparin lowers blood pressure. Heparin therapy has been shown to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive rats. The mechanism behind heparin blood pressure-lowering action is yet unknown.

4. What is a Heparinized syringe?

Syringes used to collect arterial blood for gas analysis were traditionally prepared ‘in-house’ by drawing and expelling a small volume of liquid Heparin (LH). The thin layer of liquid Heparin that remained on the syringe walls was enough to keep the blood sample from clotting. There are three different types of heparinized syringes with varying volumes.

5. How long does Heparin take to work?

Heparin given intravenously acts quickly; within minutes of getting it, it begins to work. Heparin works by preventing blood clots from forming in your veins. It can prevent blood clots from developing or halt existing clots from growing larger. The molecular backbone for Heparin's anticoagulant action is its ability to bind and enhance the inhibitory activity of the plasma protein against a variety of coagulation system serine proteases.

6. What is unfractionated Heparin?

Unfractionated Heparin (UFH) is a fast-acting anticoagulant. UFH works by interacting with antithrombin, a naturally occurring protein in our body, to prevent clot formation. UFH binds with antithrombin and improves its capacity to block the two most potent clotting agents in the body, factor IIa, and factor Xa, in minutes.

7. Can Heparin cause internal bleeding?

This medication has the potential to induce severe bleeding. This occurs because Heparin impairs your body's capacity to coagulate blood. You may bruise and bleed more readily if you take Heparin. It may also take longer for your body to cease bleeding. Heparin can make you bleed more frequently, which can be dangerous or fatal. There is a chance you will experience internal bleeding as well.

8. Are Heparin injections painful?

Yes, Heparin is injected into the layer of fat beneath the skin and slowly released into the body. This sort of injection can occasionally result in bruising and discomfort at the injection site. Sometimes, it may result in forming a hematoma – a blood-filled swelling occurring outside a blood vessel.

9. Who should not be given Heparin?

People with uncontrolled bleeding issues or a significantly low platelet count in their blood should avoid using Heparin. If they have ever been diagnosed with Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (low platelet count produced by Heparin or pentosan polysulfate), they must not use Heparin. Those using NSAIDs or with heart infections, blood disorders, high blood pressure, etc., should inform their doctor before Heparin is administered.

10. What is the difference between Heparin and Warfarin?

Warfarin is an indirect anticoagulant used in tablet form. It is not advisable to take Warfarin during pregnancy. Its onset is slower, and it takes a longer duration. Heparin is administered as a shot and acts faster than Warfarin. Heparin works better than Warfarin. Hence it is frequently used when a quick result is required. For example, This drug is used in hospitals to inhibit the development of an identified blood clot.
For further information on various drugs and medical advice, consult our team at Yashoda Hospitals.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.