Medical Dictionary Search Engines

Please be patient! It may take up to ONE minute to load all the Engines.
Problems? Please contact our support.


Search For


Specialty Search




WebMD DrugDigest MedicineNet RxList
Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Heparin Injection

About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered heparin, a medication to thin your blood, to help prevent blood clots from forming in your body. Heparin also may be given to prevent blood clots that have already formed from getting any bigger. Heparin will be injected into a vein (intravenously) or under the skin (subcutaneously). Your doctor will decide the best dosing schedule for you.

You may receive heparin intravenously for 1 or 2 weeks, while subcutaneous injections may continue for up to 6 weeks or 6 months. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.


Before administering heparin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to heparin, pork products, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), medications for headaches or pain, naproxen (Anaprox, Aleve), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or diabetes.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking heparin, call your doctor.

Administering your medication

Before you administer heparin, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.

It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.

Side effects

Although side effects from heparin are not common, they can occur. The most common side effect of heparin therapy is excessive bleeding (hemorrhage). If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your health care provider immediately:

  • bleeding from the gums or nose
  • unusually heavy menstrual bleeding
  • excessive bleeding from cuts or wounds
  • easy bruising
  • purplish areas on the skin
  • blood in urine or stools
  • vomiting or coughing up blood
  • chills
  • fever
  • itching
  • rash

Storing your medication

  • Your health care provider probably will give you several days supply of heparin. You will be directed to store it in a cool, clean, dry area.
  • Do not allow heparin to freeze.

Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.

Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Signs of infection

If you are receiving heparin in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:

  • tenderness
  • warmth
  • irritation
  • drainage
  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain

©2009 [Privacy Policy] [Disclaimer]
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT