May 28, 2017
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Refludan Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Refludan

Generic Name: lepirudin (Pronunciation: LEP i roo din)

What is lepirudin (Refludan)?

Lepirudin keeps the platelets in your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots that can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions.

Lepirudin is used to treat or prevent blood clots.

Lepirudin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of lepirudin (Refludan)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • pain or swelling in one or both legs;
  • any bleeding that will not stop;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure);
  • decreased blood pressure (feeling light-headed or fainting); or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • pain in your back or pelvis;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or upset;
  • feeling restless or nervous;
  • headache;
  • fever;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • pain, bleeding, or irritation where the injection was given.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Refludan (lepirudin) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about lepirudin (Refludan)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to lepirudin, or to a similar medication called bivalirudin (Angiomax).

Before using lepirudin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have kidney or liver disease, heart disease or infection, high blood pressure, stomach ulcer, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia, a history of stroke or recent biopsy, or any major bleeding from a surgery, injury, or medical trauma.

Tell your doctor if you are using or receiving blood thinners or any other medications used to prevent blood clots, such as alteplase (Activase), anistreplase (Eminase), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase), ticlopidine (Ticlid), or urokinase (Abbokinase).

Because lepirudin keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, it can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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