Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Heparin Injection. It does not contain
all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using
Heparin Injection against the benefits this medicine is expected to have for you.
This medicine is likely to be used while you are at the clinic or in hospital. If
possible, please read this leaflet carefully before this medicine is given to you.
In some cases this leaflet may be given to you after the medicine has been used.
If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet.
You may need to read it again.
What HEPARIN INJECTION is used for
Heparin Injection belongs to a group of medicines known as anticoagulants. Anticoagulants
work by decreasing the clotting ability of your blood and help stop clots forming
in the blood vessels. Anticoagulants are sometimes called "blood thinners", although
they do not actually thin the blood. Heparin will not dissolve blood clots that have
already formed, but it may prevent any clots that have already formed from becoming
larger and causing serious problems.
Heparin Injection is used for prevention and treatment of diseases caused by blood
clots such as in certain blood vessel, heart and lung conditions. It is also used
to prevent blood clots from forming during surgery, dialysis or blood transfusions.
Heparin Injection may be used for the treatment of other conditions that are not mentioned
above. Your doctor will be able to tell you about the specific condition for which
you have been prescribed Heparin Injection.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you are given HEPARIN INJECTION
When you must not be given it
Do not use Heparin Injection if you:
have an allergy to heparin or pork products
have, or may have, a bleeding disease or a problem with your blood vessels
have a low blood platelet count
If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if:
1. you have any allergies to:
any other medicine
any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
2. you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of being given heparin during
3. you are breast-feeding or plan to breast feed
your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of being given heparin whilst
4. you have or have had any medical conditions or procedures, especially the following:
heart problems or high blood pressure
blood disease or bleeding problems
heavy or unusual periods
medical or dental procedure
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy
without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and heparin may interfere with each other. These include:
pain relieving medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen
medicines for heart and circulation problems such as digitalis, nitroglycerine, dipyridamole
medicines for hayfever such as antihistamines
medicines for rheumatoid arthritis such as hydroxychloroquine
anti-inflammatory medicines such as indomethacin and phenylbutazone
anticlotting medicines such as aprotinin and warfarin
medicines which cause increased volume of urine such as spironolactone, triamterene
potassium supplements including potassium containing salt substitutes
medicines for treating gout such as probenecid
medicines for reducing swelling of the body such as ethacrynic acid
medicines for cancer treatment such as cytostatic drugs and asparaginase
antibiotics such as tetracyclines, cephamandole and penicillins
medicines used for epilepsy (seizures) such as valproic acid
medicines used for thyroid problems such as propylthiouracil
substances used to enhance the contrast of structures or fluids within the body in
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or
avoid while using this medicine.
Your doctor will advise you about continuing to take other medicines while you are
receiving Heparin Injection.
How HEPARIN INJECTION is given
How it is given
Heparin Injection can be injected under the skin or into a vein. Sometimes it may
be diluted and given to you as a slow injection into one of your veins (this is called
an intravenous infusion). Heparin Injection must only be given by a doctor or nurse.
How much is given
Your doctor will decide what dose, how often and how long you will receive Heparin
Injection. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as age, blood tests,
method it is being given and whether or not other medicines are being given at the
To prevent clots forming, you will usually be given a deep injection under the skin
2 hours before surgery and every 8 - 12 hours for up to a week after surgery. This
will depend on your condition.
To help clots that have already formed you will be given Heparin Injection either
as a continuous or intermittent infusion into the vein. Your doctor may also choose
to inject Heparin Injection under the skin after giving you the first dose by an intravenous
If you are given too much (overdose)
This rarely happens as Heparin Injection is administered under the care of a highly
However, if you are given too much heparin, you may experience some of the effects
listed under "Side effects" below.
Your doctor has information on how to recognise and treat an overdose. Ask your doctor
if you have any concerns.
In the case of an overdose, immediately tell your doctor or telephone the Poisons
Information Centre (phone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at
your nearest hospital if you have side effects after being given Heparin Injection.
You may need urgent medical attention.
While you are given HEPARIN INJECTION
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist
that you are being given Heparin Injection.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treat you that you are being
given this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are being
given this medicine.
It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are being given
It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are
being given heparin.
Like other medicines, heparin can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are
likely to be minor or temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask your doctor or nurse to answer any questions that you may have.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
change in skin colour or pain around the injection site
nausea and vomiting
itchy soles of the feet
These are side effects of heparin. Mostly these are mild and short-lived.
Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following:
bleeding or bruising more easily than normal e.g. unexplained nosebleeds, heavy periods,
bleeding from gums when brushing teeth
If you drink heavily you have a greater risk of bleeding compared to moderate drinkers
or non drinkers. Elderly patients (older than 65 years of age), particularly women,
have a greater risk of bleeding.
abdominal or stomach pain, back pain, blood in urine or stools, vomiting of blood
signs of allergy such as a rash, itching, hives on the skin, swelling of the face,
lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble
numbness, tingling or muscle weakness, abnormal function or loss of control of your
bowel or urine
persistent painful erection
These side effects are serious. You may need urgent medical attention.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice
any other effects, check with your doctor. Some side effects may only be seen by
After using HEPARIN INJECTION
Heparin Injection will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. The injection is
kept in a cool dry place, where the temperature stays below 25°C.
What it looks like
Heparin Injection is a clear, colourless to straw coloured solution in a plastic ampoule.
Heparin Injection contains Heparin Sodium 1000IU/mL or 5000IU/mL in water for injections.
It does not contain a preservative.
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
Australian Registration Numbers
AUST R 49232 - Heparin Injection - 5,000IU/5mL (sterile) - Steriluer® ampoule (50's)
AUST R 49232 - Heparin Injection - 5,000IU/5mL (sterile) - Steriluer® ampoule (10's)
AUST R 49236 - Heparin Injection - 25,000IU/5mL (sterile) - Steriluer® ampoule (50's)
Date of preparation
® Registered trademark.
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