Enoxaparin is a medication used to prevent and treat blood clots that can be harmful, reducing the risk of stroke or heart attack. This medication works by decreasing the activity of clotting proteins in the blood, thereby helping to maintain smooth blood flow. Enoxaparin is classified as an anticoagulant, or “blood thinner,” and is a type of heparin. For some conditions, enoxaparin may be used in combination with other anticoagulants.
Uses and Dosage
Enoxaparin is administered through subcutaneous injection using a syringe. Typically, it is given twice daily for a period of 10-14 days, starting in the hospital.
Follow the directions on your prescription label and do not alter your dosage or frequency of use unless directed to do so by your doctor. Continue using enoxaparin even if you feel well, and to not stop taking it without consulting your doctor.
Your healthcare provider will instruct you on how to administer the injection yourself or make arrangements for someone else to do so. The stomach area is typically used for injection, with a different site used each time.
Each syringe contains enough medication for a single injection, and needles and syringes should be discarded as directed by your doctor or pharmacist to prevent accidental injury. Be sure to keep them out of reach of children.
To administer the injection, follow these steps:
- Thoroughly wash your hands and clean the area of skin where you will be giving the injection.
- Examine the syringe and confirm that the medication is clear and colorless or pale yellow.
- Remove the needle cap.
- Unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare provider, do not expel any air or medication from the syringe before administering the injection.
- Lie down and use your fingers to pinch a fold of skin between your thumb and forefinger.
- Gently insert the entire needle into the skin, and then depress the syringe plunger to administer the medication.
- Hold the skin firmly throughout the injection, and avoid rubbing the injection site afterward.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- hardening of skin or lump at injection site
- hair loss
- pain or redness and bruising at site of injection
- upset stomach
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- abdominal pain
- bleeding from a surgical wound
- bone pain or fractures (bone thinning when used for more than 3 months)
- chest pain
- hair loss
- inability to move hands or feet or other parts of body (paralysis), or sudden back pain or tenderness
- rapid or unusual heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- sudden change or loss of vision
Prior to using enoxaparin, inform your physician or pharmacist if you have allergies to this medication, heparin, pork products, or any other allergies. This product may include inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Inform your physician or pharmacist of your medical history, especially if you have artificial heart valves, kidney or liver disease, bleeding or blood disorders, low platelet counts after prior heparin treatment, stroke, high blood pressure, certain eye problems, certain stomach/intestinal problems (such as active or recent ulcers), recent spinal procedure or puncture, spine problems (such as spinal deformity), recent eye/brain/spinal cord surgery.
To reduce the likelihood of stomach bleeding, limit alcohol intake while taking this medication.
Take precautions while using sharp objects like razors and nail cutters and avoid participating in activities such as contact sports to decrease the chances of getting cut, bruised, or injured.
Older adults may be more prone to side effects from this medication, particularly bleeding.
When pregnant, use this medication only if it is absolutely necessary. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your doctor.
It is not clear if this drug is transmitted through breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Lovenox is available in the following forms and strengths:
Lovenox prefilled syringe:
Why do you leave the air bubble in Lovenox?
It helps push the medicine into the body so it will not leak out the injection site.
How quickly does Lovenox work?
It starts to work within 2 hours and the effects last up to 12 hours.