Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Cardiovascular


Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Cardiovascular
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Prevents blood clots.

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Our bottom line

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.

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  • 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.


  • 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.
How it works

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.

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Side effect rates for Heparin

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These are side effects of Heparin reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Heparin

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of bleeding problems
    • Severe high blood pressure
    • Older age

    There are certain medicines that can significantly change the amount of Heparin in your body, putting you at risk for bleeding or making the drug less effective. Let your doctor know about other prescription and non-prescription medicines you're taking, especially other medicines that affect bleeding risk like aspirin and NSAIDs.

Common concerns from people taking Heparin

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