Heparin Lock Preservative Free
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a cluster of newborns in Tennessee with late vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). VKDB is a serious, but preventable bleeding disorder that can cause bleeding in the brain. In each"...
Heparin is not intended for intramuscular use.
Patients with documented hypersensitivity to heparin should be given the drug only in clearly life-threatening situations. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS, Hypersensitivity.)
Hemorrhage can occur at virtually any site in patients receiving heparin. An unexplained fall in hematocrit, fall in blood pressure or any other unexplained symptom should lead to serious consideration of a hemorrhagic event.
Heparin sodium should be used with extreme caution in infants and in patients with disease states in which there is increased danger of hemorrhage. Some of the conditions in which increased danger of hemorrhage exists are:
Subacute bacterial endocarditis, severe hypertension.
Conditions associated with increased bleeding tendencies, such as hemophilia, thrombocytopenia and some vascular purpuras.
Thrombocytopenia has been reported to occur in patients receiving heparin with a reported incidence of 0 to 30%. Platelet counts should be obtained at baseline and periodically during heparin administration. Mild thrombocytopenia (count greater than 100,000/mm³) may remain stable or reverse even if heparin is continued. However, thrombocytopenia of any degree should be monitored closely. If the count falls below 100,000/mm³ or if recurrent thrombosis develops (see Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis), the heparin product should be discontinued and, if necessary, an alternative anticoagulant administered.
Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) and Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (HITT)
Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a serious antibody-mediated reaction resulting from irreversible aggregation of platelets. HIT may progress to the development of venous and arterial thromboses, a condition referred to as Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (HITT). Thrombotic events may also be the initial presentation for HITT. These serious thromboembolic events include deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, cerebral vein thrombosis, limb ischemia, stroke, myocardial infarction, mesenteric thrombosis, renal arterial thrombosis, skin necrosis, gangrene of the extremities that may lead to amputation, and possibly death. Thrombocytopenia of any degree should be monitored closely. If the platelet count falls below 100,000/mm³or if recurrent thrombosis develops, the heparin product should be promptly discontinued and alternative anticoagulants considered if patients require continued anticoagulation.
Delayed Onset of HIT and HITT
Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis can occur up to several weeks after the discontinuation of heparin therapy. Patients presenting with thrombocytopenia or thrombosis after discontinuation of heparin should be evaluated for HIT and HITT.
Use in Neonates and Infants
The 100 unit/mL concentration should not be used in neonates or in infants who weigh less than 10 kg because of the risk of systemic anticoagulation. Caution is necessary when using the 10 unit/mL concentration in premature infants who weigh less than 1 kg who are receiving frequent flushes since a therapeutic heparin dose may be given to the infant in a 24-hour period.
Precautions must be exercised when drugs that are incompatible with heparin are administered through an indwelling intravenous catheter containing Preservative-Free Heparin Lock Flush Solution. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Maintenance of Patency of Intravenous Devices.) The concentration of phosphorus in the heparin solution is 0.63 mg/mL.
Thrombocytopenia, Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) and Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (HITT)
Increased Risk to Older Patients, Especially Women
A higher incidence of bleeding has been reported in patients, particularly women, over 60 years of age.
Periodic platelet counts, hematocrits and tests for occult blood in stool are recommended during the entire course of heparin use (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No long-term studies in animals have been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of heparin sodium. Also, no reproduction studies in animals have been performed concerning mutagenesis or impairment of fertility.
Teratogenic Effects—Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with heparin sodium. It is also not known whether heparin sodium can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Heparin sodium should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
Heparin does not cross the placental barrier.
Heparin is not excreted in human milk.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established (see WARNINGS, Use in Neonates and Infants).
A higher incidence of bleeding has been reported in patients over 60 years of age, especially women (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PRECAUTIONS, General).
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/26/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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