Lepirudin is an anticoagulant that functions as a direct thrombin inhibitor.
The reference site for Lepirudin
WHAT IS Lepirudin?
Lepirudin is a “blood thinner” (anticoagulant) used to treat patients who have developed a reaction to another type of anticoagulant (patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia).
This medication is also used along with antiplatelet therapy (e.g. aspirin) to treat worsening angina/chest pain and certain types of heart attacks such as Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS).
Brand Name(s): Refludan
CAS nº: 120993-53-5
The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to lepirudin and its correct use. Please read them carefully.
In 1998, lepirudin (Refludan®) became the first drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of HIT. A prescription is required for this medicine.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Lepirudin is a “blood thinner” (anticoagulant) used to treat patients who have developed a reaction to another type of anticoagulant (such as patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia).
It is also used along with antiplatelet therapy (e.g. aspirin) to treat worsening angina/chest pain and certain types of heart attacks such as Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS).
Lepirudin belongs to a group of medicines known of as hirudins. Lepirudin is a synthetic version of the substance that leeches inject into flesh when biting to prevent blood clotting. When blood begins to clot, a complicated cascade of chemicals is activated within the body. This results in the formation of a protein called thrombin. Thrombin is central for the complete process of blood clotting. Lepirudin acts to directly inhibit thrombin by binding to it and so interfering with the blood clotting process. Lepirudin is used as an alternative to heparin (a more commonly used anti-clotting medicine) for people who have developed a blood disorder due to heparin.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.
Dosage and using this medicine
Lepirudin should always be administered intravenously via injection and infusion, by a healthcare professional, in a hospital setting.
How to use Lepirudin IV
Follow all instructions for proper mixing, dilution with the correct IV fluids, and monitoring of treatment (e.g. aPTT monitoring). If you have any questions regarding the use of this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist
Give the initial bolus dose of this medication by vein (IV) over 15 to 20 seconds followed by a continuous IV infusion mixed in a saline (NS) or dextrose-based (D5W) solution as directed by your doctor.
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to therapy.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
What special precautions should I follow?
BEFORE TAKING LEPIRUDIN:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to lepirudin, bivalirudin, or if you have any other allergies.
Moreover, please inform your doctor about your medical history, especially regarding kidney or liver problems, recent surgery/major medical procedures or biopsies, bleeding problems (e.g. clotting difficulty, any stomach, eye, brain, or lung bleeding), stroke, heart infections (bacterial endocarditis), or high blood pressure (hypertension).
It is also important that your doctor knows of all prescription and non-prescription medication you may use, especially other “blood- thinning” drugs (e.g. aspirin, warfarin, or thrombolytics such as tPA or streptokinase).
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
Additionally, this medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Moreover, it is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk, so please discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to breast-feed.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dose or your dose is interrupted, contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Injection site reactions (e.g. redness or discomfort) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not suffer from serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
easy bruising or bleeding
pink or red-colored urine
black or bloody stool
weakness on one side of the body
nausea or vomiting
confusion or dizziness
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur:
yellowing eyes or skin
Additionally, a serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:
If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Store the unmixed powder/vials at room temperature or in a refrigerator between 36 and 77 degrees F (2 and 25 degrees C).
Once mixed, the medication should be used immediately and is stable throughout the time of the infusion (24 hours). Discard any unused portion of the vial(s).
In case of an emergency/overdose
In the case of a suspected overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, please call the local emergency services on 911.
Symptoms of an overdose may include severe bleeding.
PICTURES OF LEPIRUDIN PRODUCTS
Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of lepirudin that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.
The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.
Strength(s): 50 MG
Manufacturer: AVENTIS PHARMACEUTICALS