What we now about Refludan

Brand Name(s): Refludan

Generic Name Lepirudin

What is lepirudin injection?

LEPIRUDIN (Refludan®) is an anticoagulant, sometimes called a blood thinner, that is used in the hospital setting. Lepirudin helps to treat or prevent clots in the veins, arteries, lungs, or the heart. Generic lepirudin injections are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive lepirudin?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bleeding disorders or hemophilia
  • bowel disease or diverticulitis
  • infection of the heart valves
  • having intramuscular injections
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • recent surgery
  • stomach or intestinal ulcers
  • weak or unstable blood vessels
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lepirudin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Lepirudin is for injection or infusion into a vein in the hospital setting. It is given by a health-care professional.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with lepirudin?

  • agents that dissolve blood clots
  • antiinflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin®) or naproxen (Aleve®)
  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
  • blood thinners such as warfarin
  • clopidogrel
  • dipyridamole
  • fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) supplements
  • some herbal medicines, like garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, or horse chestnut supplements
  • ticlopidine

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects might I notice from receiving lepirudin?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • back or stomach pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine
  • coughing up blood
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness or fainting spells
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • nosebleeds
  • unusual bruising or bleeding

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • irritation at the injection site

What should I watch for while taking lepirudin?

Monitor your skin closely for easy bruising or red spots. Tell your prescriber or health care professional if you notice any unusual bruising or bleeding.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you have received lepirudin.

Be careful to avoid injury while you are receiving lepirudin. Take special care brushing or flossing your teeth. Report any injuries to your prescriber or health care professional.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store unopened vials between 2 and 25 °C (36 and 77 °F). Use lepirudin before the expiration date given on the container.

(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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