How Does Heparin Work, Know its Effectiveness, Dosage, Side Effects

You should contact your doctor if you get heavier periods than usual or when nose bleeding after using heparin. You should also call for emergency help when you cough blood, have mouth bleeding, bowel motion or excessive bleeding after a cut.

How Does Heparin Work?

How Does Heparin Work?

Heparin affects a number of sites in continuous clotting cases to inhibit blood clots as well as restricting existing blood clots from escalating.

Small quantities of Heparin inhibit the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin while large quantities of Heparin restrict the changing of fibrinogen to fibrin.

Effectiveness of Heparin

Heparin is a blood thinner (anticoagulant) medicine that effectively restricts clotting of the blood. This medicine Heparin is utilized in effectively treating and inhibiting the clotting of blood in the lungs, arteries or veins. Heparin is also shot before surgery to effectively minimize the chances of blood clots.

Heparin injection must not be utilized to wash out an intravenous catheter (IV). There is an alternative product that can be utilized as a catheter lock flush. Heparin is an anticoagulant medicine used in effectively treating and stopping of blood clot incidences in lungs or blood vessels.

Most medical guides recommend the use of Heparin for effectively treating serious pulmonary embolism and chronic proximal deep vein thrombosis. However some medical guides may conflict on other recommended use of Heparin. Heparin is also administered before surgery to minimize chances of blood clotting.

Minimal heparin doses are also utilized to keep indwelling blood free from clotted blood.

  • Heparin may cause easy bleeding or bruising. It may also lead to long bleeding than normal after a cut. You should report any excessive bleeding or bruising to your doctor or emergency department.
  • You should inform your dentist or medical provider that you are using heparin prior to surgery no matter how minor the scheduled surgery seems.
  • You should inform your physician and pharmacist that you are using heparin before you purchase any herbal remedies, supplements or over the counter medications because some of them may interact with hepari.
  • Inform your doctor first if you are breastfeeding or plan to be pregnant while using heparin.
  • Contact your physician when you become sensitive to pork products or heparin after administration.

The response and effectiveness of heparin is excellent. Heparin is normally shot in a vein, but it can also be injected under the skin. Heparin minimizes possibility of blood clots within few minutes.

Daily blood tests are needed at the initial stages to measure how quick the blood clots (activated partial thromboplastin time) or (aPTT). However, low heparin doses and long term use will not need the daily tests.

What is the Recommended Dosage of Heparin?

General Adult Dose of Heparin for Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis:

Continuous infusion dose: Administer heparin 5000 units IV once as a bolus dosage followed by 1300 units per hour via continuous IV infusion. On the other side, a bolus dosage of 80 units per Kg IV once, followed by 18 units per Kg every hour by progressive IV infusion may be utilized.

Intermittent subcutaneous Injection: Administer heparin 17,500 units injected under the skin every 12 hours.

The dose should be adjunct to sustain the aPTT at 1.5 to 2.5 times range.

General Adult Dose of Heparin for Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis — Prophylaxis:

Administer 5000 units shot under the skin for every 8 to 12 hours. This Heparin dosage can be altered to sustain the aPTT at the upper side of the usual range.

General Adult Dosage of Heparin for Treating Pulmonary Embolism:

If a patient has been suspected of suffering from massive pulmonary embolism the best initial heparin dosage may be an IV bolus of 10,000 units then 1,500 units every hour.

Intermittent subcutaneous injection: Administer 17,500 units shot under skin for every 12 hours.

The heparin dosage must be altered to sustain the aPTT at 1.5 to 2.5 times ranges.

General Adult Dose of Heparin for treating Myocardial Infarction, Angina Pectoris:

Administer 5000 units IV once as a bolus dose, then 1000 units per hour by progressive IV infusion.

General Adult Dose for Anticoagulation During Pregnancy:

Administer 5000 units under skin for every 12 hours.

This dose may be altered to sustain the 6-hour aPTT at 1.5 times range or higher.

General Adult Dose for Treating thrombotic/Thromboembolic Disorder:

Administer 100 units per mL for every 6 to 8 hours for heparin peripheral locks and PVC catheters. Added flushes should be issued when stagnated blood is seen in catheter after using it for blood or medicine administration, and after removing blood from catheters.

Adding of 0.5 to 1 unit per mL to central and peripheral TPN has proved an increament of line patency period. Arteial lines are hrpanized with ultimate concentration of 1 unit per mL.

What are the Side Effects of Heparin?

Common side effects of heparin include:

  • Slight itching in the feet
  • Bluish skin
  • Redness, slight pain, warmth and skin change where the injection was shot.

People of between 18 and 60 years who are not having other medical problems and are not using other drugs have high chance of experiencing the following side effects of heparin:

  • Spontaneous bleeding (haemorrhage) that can be deadly is the biggest danger associated with Heparin use. This condition is most common in women of 60 years and above, and in those having medical problems that escalates the danger of haemorrhage. Protamine sulfate can be administered by a doctor to neutralize Heparin effects in case of an emergency. Women may need low heparin doses.
  • Heparin medicine has been connected with various deadly medicine errors. It is very important that medical practitioners use the correct measures of Heparin.
  • Heparin must be administered by injection.
  • Heparin is not good for patients with serious high blood pressure, liver problems, menstrual problems, gastric ulceration, present bleeding condition, bacterial endocarditis, and who are going for, or have just underwent major surgeries spinal anesthesia or spinal taps.
  • Heparin may lead to serious side effects which includes decrease in platelets quantities (thrombocytopenia) and the increase of clumping of platelets together that can cause blood clotting (heparin-induced thrombocytopenia). Your blood pressure and platelets quantity may be observed.
  • Heparin injection can also lead to escalation in liver enzymes particularly ALT and AST. Long term usage of Heparin is connected with hair loss, osteoporosis and sustained etections (priapism). Your lipid levels may also increase on Heparin stoppage.
  • Heparin may interact with other medicines such as NSAIDs, aspirin and other drugs that affect blood clotting.
  • Laboratory observations which include clotting tests are normally needed on heparin administration. However, daily checkup will not be necessary with long term prescription or with low fixed doses.

Heparin is effective in reducing blood clots and is utilized in prevention and treatment of blood clotting. Heparin is administered via injection and haemorrhage is the major side effect. Lab tests are needed after administration to monitor its effectiveness.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 27, 2017

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