Produced by Celsus Laboratories, Heparin is an injectable or oral anticoagulant medication that is used to prevent blood clots from forming and causing severe health problems, such as heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke. Heparin is sold under the brand names Hep-Lock, Hep-Pak CVC and Heparin Lock Flush. Since it hit the U.S. market, Heparin has been linked to some dangerous side effects. In fact, defective drug lawyers have investigated lawsuits on behalf of injured patients and families.
Mild Heparin Side Effects
As with most medication, Heparin may cause some mild side effects, such as:
- Abdominal and/or back pain
- Bleeding from the gums, particularly when brushing the teeth
- Blood in urine (hematuria)
- Coughing up blood
- Excessive bleeding from wounds
- Heavier bleeding during menstruation
- Inexplicable nose bleeds
- Joint stiffness, pain and/or inflammation
- Vomiting up blood
More Dangerours Heparin Side Effects
In most cases, these uncomfortable and mildly painful symptoms will clear up when patients stop taking Heparin. In more rare cases, heparin side effects can be severe and may include:
- Back and/or rib pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pain
- Chills blood blisters under the skin (particularly at the site of injections)
- Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), in which the immune system mistakenly targets and destroys blood platelets
- Severe allergic reaction
In the worst cases, Heparin side effects can be fatal without immediate and long-term medical treatments. Patients who experience more dangerous side effects of Heparin may be eligible to seek compensation for their losses by filing a lawsuit against the drug makers.
Who’s at risk?
Patients with the highest risk of developing serious Heparin side effects may include those who:
- Overdose on heparin (This has been reported to occur when manufacturing errors cause double the appropriate dose to be put in individual tablets)
- Have taken contaminated heparin (In March 2008, the FDA issued a nationwide heparin recall due to the fact that the drug, produced in China, has been “over-sulfated” and ended up killing 81 Americans)
- Drink alcohol while taking heparin (Alcohol, like heparin, thins the blood)
- Take certain medications that can negatively interact with heparin, such as Advil, Feldene, Lodine, Ansaid and/or Voltaren
- Are over 60 years old
- Have a medical history of uncontrollable bleeding (hemophilia), liver disease, heart infection and/or uncontrolled hypertension
- Take heparin for longer than three months
Heparin Defective Drug Lawsuits
In 2008, more than 80 deaths were linked to contaminated Heparin. According to the FDA, the contamination was from use of oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, a compound made from animal cartilage. The contaminated Heparin was produced in China.
Surviving family members of those who died as a result of the contaminated Heparin along with patients who survived their serious injuries are eligible to seek and recover compensation for their losses. For more information about Heparin-related injuries or to discuss your specific situation, please contact Gacovino, Lake and Associates today. We will discuss your case in detail to determine whether you qualify to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.