The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 2983/0109.
Heparin Sodium 1,000 I.U/ml Solution for Injection or Concentrate for Soluton for Infusion (with preservative) (PL 29831/0109)
HEPARIN SODIUM 1,000 I.U./ml solution for injection or concentrate for solution for infusion
The name of your medicine is heparin sodium 1,000 I.U./ml solution for injection or concentrate for solution for infusion. In the rest of this leaflet, it is called heparin injection.
1. What heparin injection is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you are given heparin injection
3. How heparin injection is given
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store heparin injection
6. Contents of the pack and other information
Heparin belongs to a group of drugs that are called anticoagulants. These help to stop blood clotting. Heparin injection is used in conditions where blood vessels may become blocked by blood clots. It is therefore used to treat:
It is also used during heart and lung operations and during kidney dialysis.
This medicine should not be injected into your muscles
This medicine should not be used after major trauma
You must remind your doctor that you are having heparin before you receive any anaesthetic.
After you have the anaesthetic your doctor or nurse will make regular checks. This is to check if you are getting any major bleeding or bruising around your spine. This may cause paralysis that could be permanent. Any signs this may be happening to you include tingling, weakness or numbness in your lower legs or body, back pain or problems in going to the toilet. This happens very rarely.
After you have the anaesthetic your doctor will tell you when you can take your medicine again.
Heparin injection must not be given to premature or newborn babies.
Talk to your doctor before heparin injection is given if you:
Your doctor will check your blood if you receive treatment for longer than five days and may do other blood tests if you have major surgery.
Your doctor may take a blood test up to several weeks after the end of your heparin treatment. This is so the doctor can check the level of the clotting cells (platelets) in your blood.
Your doctor will take particular care if:
Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including those medicines obtained without a prescription, as some medicines may affect the way heparin injection works. Taking some medicines at the same time as heparin could mean you may be likely to bleed more.
In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
If you need one of the above medicines your doctor may decide to alter the dose of heparin injection or the other medication. If you have any doubts about whether this medicine should be administered then discuss things more fully with your doctor or nurse before it is given.
Tobacco smoke can also interfere with the working of heparin injection. You should inform your doctor if you smoke.
The presence of heparin in the blood can affect the results of some blood tests such as thyroid tests and the levels of calcium or some antibiotics (e.g. gentamicin) in the blood.
This medicine contains 10mg/ml benzyl alcohol. Benzyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions.
Benzyl alcohol has been linked with the risk of severe side effects including breathing problems (called ‘’gasping syndrome’’) in young children.
Do not give to your newborn baby (up to 4 weeks old), unless recommended by your doctor.
Do not use for more than a week in young children (less than 3 years old), unless advised by your doctor or pharmacist.
Large amounts of benzyl alcohol can build up in pregnant or breastfeeding women. This may cause side effects (called‘‘metabolic acidosis’’). This side effect can also be seen in people with liver or kidney disease.
The methyl parahydroxybenzoate in heparin injection may cause allergic reactions (possibly delayed) and exceptionally bronchospasm
You should let your doctor or nurse know before you are given heparin injection if you are pregnant, wish to become pregnant or have a history of, or known risk to miscarriage.
If you are being given heparin injection bleeding may be a problem during pregnancy or after delivery. Your bones may get thinner if you receive heparin for a long time during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and are going to have an epidural anaesthetic, you should stop having your medicine. Ask your doctor for advice.
Ask your doctor or nurse for advice if you wish to breast-feed.
Heparin injection has not been reported to affect ability to drive or operate machines.
Your doctor or nurse will inject your dose of heparin into a vein either all at once or over a longer period of time (usually via a drip).
The amount injected all at once into a vein should not be greater than 15ml.
You may need to have blood tests if you are receiving higher doses of heparin or if you are pregnant to check on the effects of your heparin treatment.
Heparin injection must not be given to premature or newborn babies.
You may require a lower dose if you have kidney or liver disease.
The usual dose in adults is 5,000 units injected into a vein.
This is followed by:
Lower doses may be used in the elderly
Small adults and children
Small adults and children will be given 50 units/kg body weight injected into a vein followed by:
You will have blood tests every day to check the effects of your heparin.
Initially you will be given 300 units/kg. This will be changed according to the results of your blood tests.
Initially you will be given 1,000-5,000 units. This will be changed according to the results of your blood tests.
Your doctor will decide which dose is best for you.
Too much heparin can cause bleeding. Slight bleeding can be stopped by stopping your heparin treatment. However if you have more severe bleeding you may need blood tests and an injection of a medicine called protamine sulfate.
If you think too much medicine has been given to you contact your doctor or nurse.
Like all medicines, heparin injection can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. These are most likely to occur when treatment is first started. You should inform your doctor or nurse immediately if you feel unwell.
Allergic reactions may be due to the ingredients in your heparin rather than the heparin itself. This occurs particularly in infants or children up to three years old.
Heparin injection can reduce the number of cells that help your blood clot (thrombocytopenia) and so can cause bleeding and bruising. This is most likely to occur within the first few days of treatment but may occur later too. The risk of bleeding is increased in the elderly (particularly elderly women).
Thrombocytopenia may result in the formation of dangerous blood clots causing chest pains, shortness of breath, coughing, feeling faint, dizziness or loss of consciousness. If thrombocytopenia develops, Heparin treatment should be stopped immediately.
Thrombocytopenia can occur up to several weeks after the end of your heparin treatment. As such, your doctor may take a blood test in that time. This is so the doctor can check the level of the clotting cells (platelets) in your blood.
Signs that you are bleeding more easily include:
Signs of developing paralysis include:
You must get urgent medical help if you have any of these symptoms following an epidural or spinal anaesthetic.
Rare: may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people
Not known; frequency cannot be estimated from the available data
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the national reporting systems listed below.
or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
Your doctor or nurse will usually be responsible for storing and preparing heparin injection before use and for checking that the vials have not passed their expiry date stated on the carton and the label. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and the label.
The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Heparin injection should not be given if it shows signs of deterioration such as discolouration.
Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original packaging in order to protect the product from light.
After opening, heparin vials may be kept for 28 days at 25°C, after which they should be discarded.
Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.
The active substance is heparin sodium.
1ml of solution of heparin sodium injection 1,000 I.U./ml contains 1,000 international units of the active ingredient. It is available in 5ml multidose vials containing 5,000 I.U. in 5ml of solution.
The other ingredients include benzyl alcohol (10mg/ml), methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218) (as preservatives), water for injections, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.
Heparin injection is a colourless or straw-coloured liquid.
Each carton contains 10 glass vials.
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Product Name Reference Number
Heparin sodium 1,000 I.U./ml solution for injection or concentrate for solution for infusion 29831/0109
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This leaflet was last revised in 01/2022