Type of medicine: anticoagulant; low molecular weight heparin
Generic and brand names: dalteparin sodium, injection; Fragmin
What is this medicine used for?
This medicine is given by injection (shot) to prevent deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), which may lead to pulmonary embolism (lung clot).
This medicine is used to reduce the risk of blood clots in people who:
Are having abdominal surgery or knee or hip replacement surgery
Have unstable angina (chest pain), or a heart attack.
This medicine may also be used long-term to treat blood clots in people with cancer.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as determined by your healthcare provider.
What should my healthcare provider know before I take this medicine?
Tell your healthcare provider if you have:
An allergic reaction to any medicine or to pork products
A history of bleeding problems or blood disorders
Eye problems due to diabetes
High blood pressure
Kidney or liver problems
Recently had brain, eye, or spinal surgery, or a spinal tap
Recently had a stroke, heart infection, or an ulcer
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are taking any medicine that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had any reaction to heparin in the past (such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia or HIT).
Females of childbearing age: Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine without your healthcare provider’s approval.
How do I use it?
You will be given these shots by your healthcare provider while you are in the hospital. You will be closely watched to be sure that you do not bleed too much or develop any serious side effects.
Sometimes you can give yourself these shots or have someone at home give them to you. Check the label on the medicine for directions about your specific dose. Be sure you know when to use the medicine and how much medicine you should use. Carefully follow the instructions for using this medicine. If you are not sure how to use this medicine, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for help.
Do not inject more or less or more often than prescribed. Do not stop taking this medicine without your healthcare provider’s approval.
Check with your healthcare provider before using this medicine in children under age 18.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and use the next one as directed. Do not use double doses. If you are not sure of what to do if you miss a dose, or if you miss more than one dose, contact your healthcare provider.
What if I overdose?
If you or anyone else has intentionally taken too much of this medicine, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. If you pass out, have seizures, weakness or confusion, or have trouble breathing, call 911. If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, call the poison control center. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. The poison control center number is 800-222-1222.
Symptoms of an acute overdose may include: nosebleeds, blood in your urine or stools, unusual bruising or bleeding, bleeding that won’t stop.
What should I watch out for?
If you have epidural or spinal anesthesia or a spinal puncture while taking this medicine, you are at risk for internal bleeding that could cause you to become paralyzed. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice numbness, tingling, leg weakness or paralysis, and loss of control over your bladder or bowels.
You may need to have blood tests regularly to see how this medicine affects you. Keep all appointments for these tests.
You may bruise or bleed more easily while taking this medicine Also, it may take longer than usual for you to stop bleeding. Be careful to avoid falls or injury while you are taking this medicine. Use a soft brush to brush your teeth. Avoid injury while shaving, cutting fingernails or toenails, or when using sharp objects. To avoid bruising, do not rub the skin where the shot is given.
Adults over the age of 65 or people who are underweight may be at greater risk for side effects.
If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.
What are the possible side effects?
Along with its needed effects, your medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Your healthcare provider will watch you closely to make sure the medicine is working and is not causing unwanted side effects. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.
Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).
Serious (report these to your healthcare provider right away): Unusual bleeding or bruising (bloody or black tarry stools, bloody urine, nosebleeds, coughing or vomiting blood, unusually heavy menstrual period, injection site bleeding or bruising); chest pain; irregular heartbeat; trouble breathing; redness, pain, or swelling in lower leg; unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat; lightheadedness or fainting; sudden back pain; unusual weakness or tiredness; severe or sudden headache; sudden confusion; sudden vision, speech, or balance problems; numbness or tingling.
Other: Irritation at injection site, diarrhea, nausea, hair loss.
What products might interact with this medicine?
When you take this medicine with other medicines, it can change the way this or any of the other medicines work. Nonprescription medicines, vitamins, natural remedies, and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:
ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril, enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril, lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik)
Angiotensin receptor II blockers such as candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan)
Aspirin or other salicylates
Medicine that reduces the chance of blood clots forming such as abciximab (ReoPro), clopidogrel (Plavix), dabigatran (Pradaxa), dipyridamole (Persantine), eptifibatide (Integrilin), fondaparinux (Arixtra), prasugrel (Effient), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), tirofiban (Aggrastat), ticlopidine, and warfarin (Coumadin)
Medicines to treat cancer such as dasatinib (Sprycel) and ibritumomab (Zevalin)
Medicines to treat pulmonary hypertension such as epoprostenol (Flolan), iloprost (Ventavis), and treprostinil (Remodulin)
Natural remedies such as alfalfa, anise, bilberry, bladderwrack, bromelain, cat’s claw, celery, chamomile, dong quai, evening primrose, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, green tea, horse chestnut, licorice, red clover, SAMe, turmeric, and white willow
Potassium-sparing diuretics (water pills) such as amiloride, spironolactone (Aldactone), and triamterene (Dyrenium)
If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.
How should I store this medicine?
Store this medicine at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect it from heat, high humidity, and bright light.
This advisory includes selected information only and may not include all side effects of this medicine or interactions with other medicines. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.
Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
Do not share medicines with other people.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Medication Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2015-01-20 Last reviewed: 2015-01-19
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.