Prevents blood clots from forming after hip, knee, or stomach surgery. Also treats problems in the lungs, legs, and other parts of the body caused by blood clots. This medicine is an anticoagulant or "blood thinner."
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
- A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine. It may also be given by a home health caregiver.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. Throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using pain or arthritis medicine, sometimes called "NSAIDs" (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Celebrex®, Ecotrin®, or Motrin®). Tell your doctor if you are also using any other blood thinners (such as clopidogrel, warfarin, or Coumadin®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have bleeding problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, eye problems caused by diabetes, a stomach ulcer or bleeding, or a history of stroke or serious bleeding caused by heparin. Make sure your doctor knows if you have recently had brain, back, or eye surgery.
- This medicine may cause bleeding or bruising. This risk is higher if you have a catheter in your back for pain medicine or anesthesia (sometimes called an "epidural"), or if you have kidney problems. The risk of bleeding increases if your kidney problems get worse. Discuss this with your doctor if you are concerned.
- You may bleed and bruise more easily while you are using this medicine. Be extra careful to avoid injuries until the effects of the medicine have worn off. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers. Avoid picking your nose. If you need to blow your nose, blow it gently.
- Watch for any bleeding from open areas such as around the injection site. Also check for blood in your urine or stool. If you have any bleeding or injuries, tell your doctor right away.
- The needle guard of the prefilled syringe of this medicine contains dry natural latex rubber. Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to latex or rubber.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Black, tarry stools.
- Blood in your urine or stools.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Pain in your lower leg (calf).
- Rapid weight gain.
- Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Unexplained nosebleeds.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild bleeding, itching, or rash where the shot was given.
- Mild constipation, diarrhea, or stomach upset.
- Mild headache.
- Mild skin rash or itching.
- Pale skin.
- Trouble sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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