Heparin – Benefits, Dosages, and Side Effects Can Be Caused

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Heparin is an anticoagulant or blood thinner that can only be given by injection. This medicine will not dissolve a blood clot that has formed, but will prevent the clot from getting bigger and causing dangerous health problems.

How it Works and Benefits Heparin

Heparin works by binding to proteins antithrombin which inhibits several blood clotting factors. This bond increases the effectiveness of the protein so that its effect in preventing blood clots is getting stronger.

This medicine too widely used to prevent or treat blood clots due to disorders of the blood vessels, heart, and lungs. This drug is also used to prevent blood clots from forming during open heart surgery bypass, dialysis, and blood transfusion.

In low doses, this medicine It is used to prevent the formation of blood clots in individuals who need to be on bed rest for a long time.

In times of pandemic, heparin is one of the drugs for patients with COVID-19 who are hospitalized. As long as there are no contraindications and not pregnant, all individuals who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 should get it in prophylactic (preventive) doses.

The results of the study show that the administration of significantly prevent disease exacerbation and reduce mortality from COVID-19.

Contraindications and Warnings Before Use Heparin

It is important to underline that this drug can’t be used under the following conditions:

  • Allergy to heparin or products containing pork.
  • Have uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Very low blood platelet levels.
  • Ever diagnosed heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

To ensure safe to use, tell your doctor if you have experienced:

  • Infection of the inner wall of the heart (bacterial endocarditis).
  • Severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • Bleeding or blood clotting disorders.
  • Stomach or intestinal disorders.
  • Liver disease.
  • Using blood thinners warfarin.
  • Menstruating.

Until now, it is not known whether this medicine harm the fetus. To avoid unwanted effects, pregnant women can use the dosage form heparin which does not contain preservatives. Meanwhile, breastfeeding should be stopped while using it.

Dosage to Pay Attention to

Heparin Required for Healing Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients, Why?

dosage form heparin is a solution for intravenous infusion or subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. Heparin should not used intramuscularly (injection into the muscle) and not to be taken orally.

The following checks need to be done before administering this medicine:

  • Complete blood count to determine the basic levels of hemoglobin and platelets.
  • Blood clotting panel which includes prothrombin time (PT) and aPTT to ensure the individual does not have certain blood clotting disorders or other disorders.
  • Liver function tests to determine baseline levels of liver enzymes.

Here are the dosages to watch out for according to its intended use:

  • Therapeutic dose (medicine dose/full dose), adjusted to the patient’s body weight. The dosage is different for each individual and also depends on the medical condition to be treated.
  • Prophylactic (preventive) dose
    • For general surgery: 5,000 units 2 hours before surgery and every 8-12 hours after surgery (2-3 times a day).
    • For cases of Covid-19 who are hospitalized (moderate-severe), use heparin low molecular weight (enoxaparin) 4,000 units once a day.

Other Drug Interactions

While wearing heparin, drugs such as defibrotide, oritavancin, and telavancin should not used. For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others, should be used with caution because it can increase the risk of bleeding when used with heparin.


Concurrent use of the following drugs and supplements with heparin may increase the risk of side effects. Dosage and frequency may need to be adjusted during use heparin:

  • Blood thinners warfarin, heart medicine digoxin, tetracycline antibiotics, and antihistamines.
  • Supplements containing chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, curcumin, dong quai, ginger, palifermin, and vitamin A

Side Effects That Can Appear

This medicine can also increases the risk of bleeding, which can be severe or life-threatening. The risk of this bleeding is higher in older individuals, especially women aged 60 years and over. Stop use immediately and seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Changes in the skin area where the injection was given.
  • Skin feels warm or discolored.
  • Chest pain, irregular heart rhythm.
  • Shortness of breath, feeling light-headed, anxious, sweating.
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots appearing under the skin.
  • Severe pain or swelling in the abdomen, lower back, or groin.
  • The skin on the tips of the hands and feet is bluish or black.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite.
  • Unusual fatigue.
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop.
  • Nosebleeds, blood in the urine or stools, blackish stools, coughing up blood, or vomit that looks like coffee beans.
  • Signs of a blood clot, such as sudden onset of weakness or numbness, impaired vision or speech, swelling or redness of the arms or lower legs.

In addition, seek emergency medical attention if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction to heparin, such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or a sensation of fainting.

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