Heparin Sodium

HEPARIN SODIUM- heparin sodium injection
Sandoz Inc


Heparin sodium injection is indicated for:

Prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
Prevention of postoperative deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing major abdominothoracic surgery or who, for other reasons, are at risk of developing thromboembolic disease
Atrial fibrillation with embolization
Treatment of acute and chronic consumptive coagulopathies (disseminated intravascular coagulation)
Prevention of clotting in arterial and cardiac surgery
Prophylaxis and treatment of peripheral arterial embolism
Anticoagulant use in blood transfusions, extracorporeal circulation, and dialysis procedures


2.1 Preparation for Administration

Confirm the selection of the correct formulation and strength prior to administration of the drug.

Confirm the choice of the correct heparin sodium injection vial prior to administration of the drug to a patient [see Warnings and Precaution (5.1)]. The 1 mL vial must not be confused with a “catheter lock flush” vial or other 1 mL vial of inappropriate strength. Confirm that you have selected the correct medication and strength prior to administration of the drug.

When heparin is added to an infusion solution for continuous intravenous administration, the container should be inverted at least six times to ensure adequate mixing and prevent pooling of the heparin in the solution.

Heparin sodium is not effective by oral administration and should be given by intermittent intravenous injection, intravenous infusion, or deep subcutaneous (intrafat, i.e., above the iliac crest or abdominal fat layer) injection. The intramuscular route of administration should be avoided because of the frequent occurrence of hematoma at the injection site.

Converting to Oral Anticoagulant

When an oral anticoagulant of the coumarin or similar type is to be begun in patients already receiving heparin sodium, baseline and subsequent tests of prothrombin activity must be determined at a time when heparin activity is too low to affect the prothrombin time. This is about five hours after the last IV bolus and 24 hours after the last subcutaneous dose. If continuous IV heparin infusion is used, prothrombin time can usually be measured at any time.

In converting from heparin to an oral anticoagulant, the dose of the oral anticoagulant should be the usual initial amount and thereafter prothrombin time should be determined at the usual intervals. To ensure continuous anticoagulation, it is advisable to continue full heparin therapy for several days after the prothrombin time has reached the therapeutic range. Heparin therapy may then be discontinued without tapering.

Low-Dose Prophylaxis of Postoperative Thromboembolism

A number of well-controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that low-dose heparin prophylaxis, given just prior to and after surgery, will reduce the incidence of postoperative deep vein thrombosis in the legs (as measured by the I-125 fibrinogen technique and venography) and of clinical pulmonary embolism. The most widely used dosage has been 5,000 units 2 hours before surgery and 5,000 units every 8 to 12 hours thereafter for seven days or until the patient is fully ambulatory, whichever is longer. The heparin is given by deep subcutaneous injection in the arm or abdomen with a fine needle (25 to 26 gauge) to minimize tissue trauma. A concentrated solution of heparin sodium is recommended. Such prophylaxis should be reserved for patients over the age of 40 who are undergoing major surgery. Patients with bleeding disorders and those having neurosurgery, spinal anesthesia, eye surgery or potentially sanguineous operations should be excluded, as well as patients receiving oral anticoagulants or plateletactive drugs (see WARNINGS). The value of such prophylaxis in hip surgery has not been established. The possibility of increased bleeding during surgery or postoperatively should be borne in mind. If such bleeding occurs, discontinuance of heparin and neutralization with protamine sulfate are advisable. If clinical evidence of thromboembolism develops despite low-dose prophylaxis, full therapeutic doses of anticoagulants should be given unless contraindicated. All patients should be screened prior to heparinization to rule out bleeding disorders, and monitoring should be performed with appropriate coagulation tests just prior to surgery. Coagulation test values should be normal or only slightly elevated. There is usually no need for daily monitoring of the effect of low-dose heparin in patients with normal coagulation parameters.

Extracorporeal Dialysis

Follow equipment manufacturers’ operating directions carefully.

Blood Transfusion

Addition of 400 to 600 USP units per 100 mL of whole blood is usually employed to prevent coagulation. Usually, 7,500 USP units of heparin sodium are added to 100 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP (or 75,000 USP units/1,000 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP) and mixed; from this sterile solution, 6 to 8 mL are added per 100 mL of whole blood.

Laboratory Samples

Addition of 70 to 150 units of heparin sodium per 10 to 20 mL sample of whole blood is usually employed to prevent coagulation of the sample. Leukocyte counts should be performed on heparinized blood within two hours after addition of the heparin. Heparinized blood should not be used for isoagglutinin, complement, or erythrocyte fragility tests or platelet counts.

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.

2.2 Laboratory Monitoring for Efficacy and Safety

Adjust the dosage of heparin sodium injection according to the patient’s coagulation test results. Dosage is considered adequate when the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) is 1.5 to 2 times normal or when the whole blood clotting time is elevated approximately 2.5 to 3 times the control value. When initiating treatment with heparin sodium injection by continuous intravenous infusion, determine the coagulation status (aPTT, INR, platelet count) at baseline and continue to follow aPTT approximately every 4 hours and then at appropriate intervals thereafter. When the drug is administered intermittently by intravenous injection, perform coagulation tests before each injection during the initiation of treatment and at appropriate intervals thereafter. After deep subcutaneous (intrafat) injections, tests for adequacy of dosage are best performed on samples drawn 4 to 6 hours after the injection.

Periodically monitor platelet counts and hematocrits during the entire course of heparin therapy, regardless of the route of administration.

2.3 Therapeutic Anticoagulant Effect with Full-Dose Heparin

The dosing recommendations in Table 1 are based on clinical experience. Although dosages must be adjusted for the individual patient according to the results of suitable laboratory tests, the following dosage schedules may be used as guidelines:

Table 1: Recommended Adult Full-Dose Heparin Regimens for Therapeutic Anticoagulant Effect

Method of Administration


Recommended Dose

(Based on 68 kg patient)

Deep Subcutaneous (Intrafat) Injection

A different site should be used for each injection to prevent development of massive hematoma

Initial Dose

5,000 units by intravenous injection, followed by 10,000 units to 20,000 units of a concentrated solution, subcutaneously

Every 8 hours


Every 12 hours

8,000 units to 10,000 units of a concentrated solution

15,000 units to 20,000 units of a concentrated


Intermittent Intravenous Injection

Initial Dose

10,000 units, either undiluted or in 50 mL to 100 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP by intravenous injection

Every 4 to 6 hours

5,000 units to 10,000 units, either undiluted or in 50 mL to 100 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP

Intravenous Infusion

Initial Dose

5,000 units by intravenous injection


20,000 units/24 hours to 40,000 units/24 hours in

1,000 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride

Injection, USP (or in any compatible

solution) for infusion

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