Adverse Drug Event – Heparin Drip

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AdverseDrug Event – Heparin Drip

Heparinis an anticoagulant whose mode of action involves binding to anenzyme inhibitor known as antithrombin II. It then initiates a seriesof reactions such as inactivation of thrombin and proteases andfactor Xa and prevention of the formation of blood clots in bodyorgans such as the lungs, arteries, and veins (Auerbach et al. 2014).This essay discusses some of the indications and contraindications ofHeparin drip. Additionally, it also incorporates some statistics onhow often adverse events may have occurred and what each institutionshould do to prevent this occurrence.

Indicationsand administration of Heparin Drip

Heparindrip is indicated for prophylaxis and management of thromboemboliccomplications. It is also the drug of choice for the treatment ofperipheral arterial embolism, acute and chronic coagulopathies andvenous thrombosis. Additionally, it is also recommended for cardiacsurgery and blood transfusion, dialysis procedures among others(Tuchscherer at al. 2014). The drug is administered by intermittentIV infusion and injection.

Thedosage is dependent on the condition being managed and age of anindividual. For instance, for deep vein thrombosis, one requires acontinuous IV infusion of 5000 units followed by 1300/hour. For deepvein thrombosis, 5000 units subcutaneous every 8 to 12 hours. On theother hand, for myocardial infarctions, it is recommended that thepatient be with administered 5000 units IV followed by 1000units/hour. The dose is adjusted for pediatric usage. For example,10units/Ml every 6 to 8 hours (Auerbach et al. 2014).

Adversedrug events

Theprimary contraindication for Heparin drip usage is when one isbleeding. This is mostly witnessed in people suffering fromuncontrolled blood pressure, severe liver disease, hypertension, andstroke. In the case of a hemorrhage, the drug should only be usedwhen the benefits of therapy outweigh the potential risk. Anotheradverse effect of drugs usage is seen in conditions such asHeparin-induced thrombocytopenia (Girard et al. 2016). This is afatal antibody-mediated reaction which causes irreversibleaggregation of platelets. Adverse drug reactions can also affectinfants in that there may be low birth weights and gasping syndromesamong others (Auerbach et al. 2014).

Thelatest statistics on adverse drug effects of Heparin released by thefood and drugs agency (FDA) indicated that annually, there are 55death cases associated with drug’s side effects such as allergy andhypotensive symptoms. This is relatively low considering that theorganization usually receive approximately 400,000 reports on adversedrug effects annually. Most of the unwanted effects are usuallybecause of the manufacturer’s fault (90%) (FDA.Gov, 2016).

Managementof the adverse drug events

Inensuring that there are minimal adverse effects, the drug should notbe used alongside some anti-inflammatory agents such as Naproxen andIbuprofen. Patients should disclose all this information to theirphysicians before beginning the treatment (Tuchscherer at al. 2014).Before administration, adequate laboratory tests should be conductedto ensure that the right dose is administered to prevent unwantedeffects. Heparin should not be administered to patients withconditions such as hypertension and those who have deep cuts. Lastly,in managing some of the adverse effects, it is recommended thatphysicians take into consideration the daily metabolic load forinfants.


Heparindrip is used as an anticoagulant to treat blood clots in lungs,arteries, and veins. However, it is associated with adverse effectssuch as uncontrolled blood pressure, severe liver disease, andHeparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Care should thus be taken whenadministering the drug to patients.


Fda.Gov. (2016) Informationon Adverse Event Reports and Heparin.Retrieved

Mauermann,E., Vökt, C., Tsakiris, D. A., Tobler, D., &amp Girard, T. (2016).Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in pregnancy: an interdisciplinarychallenge—a case report and literature review.&nbspInternationaljournal of obstetric anesthesia,&nbsp26,79-82.

Rosenbluth,G., Tsang, L., Vittinghoff, E., Wilson, S., Wilson‐Ganz, J., &ampAuerbach, A. (2014). The impact of decreased heparin dose forflush‐lock of implanted venous access ports in pediatric oncologypatients. Pediatricblood &amp cancer,&nbsp61(5),855-858.

Smythe,M. A., Koerber, J. M., Forsyth, L. L., &amp Tuchscherer, R. M.(2014). Implications of heparin-induced thrombocytopeniaoverdiagnosis.&nbspAnnalsof Pharmacotherapy,&nbsp48(10),1394-1395.

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