May 27, 2017
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Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section


Risk Of Hemorrhage Including Spinal/Epidural Hematomas

Spinal or epidural hemorrhage and subsequent hematomas can occur with the associated use of low molecular weight heparins or heparinoids and neuraxial (spinal/epidural) anesthesia or spinal puncture. The risk of these events is higher with the use of postoperative indwelling epidural catheters, with the concomitant use of additional drugs affecting hemostasis such as NSAIDs, with traumatic or repeated epidural or spinal puncture, or in patients with a history of spinal surgery or spinal deformity [see BOX WARNING and ADVERSE REACTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].

To reduce the potential risk of bleeding associated with the concurrent use of dalteparin sodium and epidural or spinal anesthesia/analgesia or spinal puncture, consider the pharmacokinetic profile of dalteparin [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Placement or removal of an epidural catheter or lumbar puncture is best performed when the anticoagulant effect of dalteparin is low; however, the exact timing to reach a sufficiently low anticoagulant effect in each patient is not known. No additional hemostasisaltering medications should be administered due to the additive effects.

Patients on preoperative FRAGMIN thromboprophylaxis can be assumed to have altered coagulation. The first postoperative FRAGMIN thromboprophylaxis dose (2,500 IU) should be administered 6 to 8 hrs postoperatively. The second postoperative dose (2,500 or 5,000 IU) should occur no sooner than 24 hrs after the first dose. Placement or removal of a catheter should be delayed for at least 12 hours after administration of 2,500 IU once daily of FRAGMIN, at least 15 hours after the administration of 5,000 IU once daily of FRAGMIN, and at least 24 hours after the administration of higher doses (200 IU/kg once daily, 120 IU/kg twice daily) of FRAGMIN. Anti-Xa levels are still detectable at these time points, and these delays are not a guarantee that neuraxial hematoma will be avoided.

Although a specific recommendation for timing of a subsequent FRAGMIN dose after catheter removal cannot be made, consider delaying this next dose for at least four hours, based on a benefit-risk assessment considering both the risk for thrombosis and the risk for bleeding in the context of the procedure and patient risk factors. For patients with creatinine clearance <30mL/minute, additional considerations are necessary because elimination of FRAGMIN may be more prolonged; consider doubling the timing of removal of a catheter, at least 24 hours for the lower prescribed dose of FRAGMIN (2,500 IU or 5,000 IU once daily) and at least 48 hours for the higher dose (200 IU/kg once daily, 120 IU/kg twice daily) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Should the physician decide to administer anticoagulation in the context of epidural or spinal anesthesia/analgesia or lumbar puncture, frequent monitoring must be exercised to detect any signs and symptoms of neurological impairment such as midline back pain, sensory and motor deficits (numbness or weakness in lower limbs), bowel and/or bladder dysfunction. Instruct patients to report immediately if they experience any of the above signs or symptoms. If signs or symptoms of spinal hematoma are suspected, initiate urgent diagnosis and treatment including consideration for spinal cord decompression even though such treatment may not prevent or reverse neurological sequelae.

Use FRAGMIN with extreme caution in patients who have an increased risk of hemorrhage, such as those with severe uncontrolled hypertension, bacterial endocarditis, congenital or acquired bleeding disorders, active ulceration and angiodysplastic gastrointestinal disease, hemorrhagic stroke, or shortly after brain, spinal or ophthalmological surgery. FRAGMIN may enhance the risk of bleeding in patients with thrombocytopenia or platelet defects; severe liver or kidney insufficiency, hypertensive or diabetic retinopathy, and recent gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding can occur at any site during therapy with FRAGMIN.


Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia can occur with the administration of FRAGMIN. The incidence of this complication is unknown at present. In clinical practice, cases of thrombocytopenia with thrombosis, amputation and death have been observed [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Closely monitor thrombocytopenia of any degree.

In FRAGMIN clinical trials supporting non-cancer indications, platelet counts of < 50,000/mm3 occurred in < 1% of patients.

In the clinical trial of patients with cancer and acute symptomatic venous thromboembolism treated for up to 6 months in the FRAGMIN treatment arm, platelet counts of < 100,000/mm3 occurred in 13.6% of patients, including 6.5% who also had platelet counts less than 50,000/mm3. In the same clinical trial, thrombocytopenia was reported as an adverse event in 10.9% of patients in the FRAGMIN arm and 8.1% of patients in the OAC arm. FRAGMIN dose was decreased or interrupted in patients whose platelet counts fell below 100,000/mm3 .

Risk Of Serious Adverse Reactions In Neonates And Infants Due To Benzyl Alcohol Preservative

Use preservative-free FRAGMIN in neonates and infants.

Serious and fatal adverse reactions including “gasping syndrome” can occur in neonates and low-birth weight infants treated with medications that contain the preservative benzyl alcohol. The “gasping syndrome” is characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, and gasping respirations. When prescribing FRAGMIN in infants, consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources including FRAGMIN multiple-dose vial (contains 14 mg of benzyl alcohol per mL) and other drugs containing benzyl alcohol. The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which serious adverse reactions may occur is not known [see Use In Specific Populations]. Because benzyl alcohol may cross the placenta, use caution when administering FRAGMIN preserved with benzyl alcohol to pregnant women. If anticoagulation with FRAGMIN is needed during pregnancy, use preservative-free formulations; where possible [see Use In Specific Populations].

Laboratory Tests

Periodic routine complete blood counts, including platelet count, blood chemistry, and stool occult blood tests are recommended during the course of treatment with FRAGMIN. When administered at recommended prophylaxis doses, routine coagulation tests such as Prothrombin Time (PT) and Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) are relatively insensitive measures of FRAGMIN activity and, therefore, unsuitable for monitoring the anticoagulant effect of FRAGMIN. Anti-Factor Xa may be used to monitor the anticoagulant effect of FRAGMIN, such as in patients with severe renal impairment or if abnormal coagulation parameters or bleeding occurs during FRAGMIN therapy.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Dalteparin sodium has not been tested for its carcinogenic potential in long-term animal studies. It was not mutagenic in the in vitro Ames Test, mouse lymphoma cell forward mutation test and human lymphocyte chromosomal aberration test and in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test. Dalteparin sodium at subcutaneous doses up to 1,200 IU/kg (7,080 IU/m2) did not affect the fertility or reproductive performance of male and female rats.

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

Available data from published literature and postmarketing reports have not reported a clear association with dalteparin and adverse developmental outcomes. There are risks to the mother associated with untreated venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pregnancy, and a potential for adverse effects on the preterm infant when dalteparin is used in pregnancy (see Clinical Considerations). In animal reproduction studies, there was no evidence of embryo-fetal toxicity or teratogenicity when dalteparin sodium was administered to pregnant rats and rabbits during organogenesis at doses 2 to 4 times (rats) and 4 times (rabbits) the human dose of 100 IU/kg dalteparin based on the body surface area [see Data]. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal Risk

Published data describe that women with a previous history of VTE in pregnancy are at higher risk for recurrence during subsequent pregnancies compared to those with no risk factor for VTE (4.5% versus 2.7% respectively, relative risk 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0-2.8).

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

Cases of “gasping syndrome” have occurred in premature infants when large amounts of benzyl alcohol have been administered (99-404 mg/kg/day). The 3.8 mL multiple-dose vials of FRAGMIN contain 14 mg/mL of benzyl alcohol [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


Animal Data

In reproductive and developmental toxicity studies, pregnant rats and rabbits received dalteparin sodium during organogenesis at intravenous doses up to 2,400 IU/kg (14,160 IU/m2) (rats) and 4,800 IU/kg (40,800 IU/m2) (rabbits). These exposures were 2 to 4 times (rats) and 4 times (rabbits) the human dose of 100 IU/kg dalteparin based on the body surface area. These studies revealed no evidence of teratogenicity or embryo-fetal toxicity.


Risk Summary

Limited published data indicate that dalteparin is present in human milk in small amounts (see Data). No adverse effects on the breastfed infant have been reported. There are no data on the effects of the drug on milk production. Oral absorption of dalteparin is expected to be low, but the clinical implications, if any, of this small amount of anticoagulant activity on a breastfed infant are unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for FRAGMIN and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from FRAGMIN or from the underlying maternal condition.


A study evaluated samples of maternal blood and breast milk in 15 lactating women receiving prophylactic doses of dalteparin in the immediate postpartum period (days 4-8 after Cesarean-section). The samples were collected before and 3-4 hours after daily injections of 2500 IU dalteparin. Small amounts of anti-Xa activity (range<0.005 to 0.037 IU/mL) in breast milk were detected in 11 of the 15 women. Because this study evaluated colostrum or transitional milk at a single timepoint during the 24-hour dosing interval, the clinical relevance of this data is unclear in regards to passage of drug into mature milk and the quantification of drug exposure to the infant over the full dosing interval.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Use preservative-free FRAGMIN in neonates and infants.

Serious adverse reactions including fatal reactions and the “gasping syndrome’ occurred in premature neonates and low-birth weight infants in the neonatal intensive care unit who received benzyl alcohol preserved medications. In these cases, benzyl alcohol dosages of 99 to 234 mg/kg/day produced high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites in the blood and urine (blood levels of benzyl alcohol were 0.61 to 1.378 mmol/L). Additional adverse reactions included gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Preterm, low-birth weight infants may be more likely to develop these reactions because they may be less able to metabolize benzyl alcohol.

When prescribing FRAGMIN multiple-dose vials in infants consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources including FRAGMIN multiple-dose vials (FRAGMIN contains 14 mg of benzyl alcohol per mL) and other drugs containing benzyl alcohol. The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which serious adverse reactions may occur is not known [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients in clinical studies of FRAGMIN, 5516 patients were 65 years of age or older and 2237 were 75 or older. No overall differences in effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Some studies suggest that the risk of bleeding increases with age. Postmarketing surveillance and literature reports have not revealed additional differences in the safety of FRAGMIN between elderly and younger patients. Give careful attention to dosing intervals and concomitant medications (especially antiplatelet medications) in geriatric patients, particularly in those with low body weight (< 45 kg) and those predisposed to decreased renal function [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/25/2017


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