Lovenox vs. Heparin

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Prevents blood clots. Lovenox (Enoxaparin) is a good anticoagulant that reduces the risk of death or bleeding, and blood clots are less likely to happen. However, it is only available as an injection which isn't great if you're afraid of needles.Prevents blood clots. Heparin is a good anticoagulant that prevents blood clots. However, you'll need to get frequent blood tests to make sure it's working well.
How it works
Lovenox (Enoxaparin) is an anticoagulant that prevents certain blood-clotting proteins from working. By stopping blood clots from forming, there's a lower chance of having a stroke or blood clots travel to your lungs.Heparin is an anticoagulant that binds with proteins and platelets to stop blood clots from being made and traveling to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
  • Injection site hematoma 7%
  • Fever 2%
  • Confusion 1%
  • Nausea 1%
More Lovenox side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Heparin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Heparin »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Spinal puncture (spinal tap)
  • Getting anesthesia in the spine (epidural anesthesia)
  • Taking NSAIDs or other blood thinning medicines
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Stopping Lovenox (Enoxaparin) early
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed Lovenox (Enoxaparin) risks & warnings »
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed Heparin risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • It doesn't work as well as other medications for "thinning the blood" if you are overweight, underweight, or if you have kidney disease.
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • In a study that compared Lovenox (Enoxaparin) to other medications used to stop blood clots, there was a lower risk of clots coming back, with similar rates of major bleeding and mortality.
  • You don't need to go in for lab tests to check whether it's working, unlike other medications like warfarin that require regular blood draws.
  • Available in generic so it can be cheaper than other "blood thinners".
  • Good option if you're pregnant or have cancer.
  • Safe to use in pregnancy and if you're breast feeding.
  • There are other medications that can help stop unexpected bleeding while taking Heparin.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Usually used in the hospital, but can be given at home too.
Downsides and risks
  • It is only available as an injection, so it's not great if you're afraid of needles.
  • While surprise bleeding episodes can be treated while taking Lovenox (Enoxaparin), they won't completely work.
  • It doesn't work as well as other medications for "thinning the blood" if you are overweight, underweight, or if you have kidney disease.
  • You'll need to get labs/blood draws done on a regular basis to make sure the drug is working and to make sure you don't get unexpected side effects.
  • You can be at higher risk for bleeding or clotting while taking Heparin compared to other anticoagulants.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Rotate the spot where you inject Lovenox (Enoxaparin) every day.
  • While on this, it can take longer to stop bleeding and you are more likely to bruise or bleed more easily.
  • Avoid taking certain anti-inflammatory drugs (like NSAIDs) because they can make you more likely to bleed.
  • Can cause swelling in your legs, diarrhea, and nausea.
  • Make sure to change where you inject Heparin every time.
  • Don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications without talking to your doctor first.
  • You will have to do regular blood draws or labs to make sure that Heparin is working for you.
Learn more
More about LovenoxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about HeparinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert