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How Effective Is Enoxaparin for DVT?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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The drug enoxaparin is an anticoagulant, used to prevent or break up blood clots, particularly those that occur in blood vessels located deep within the body. This function makes it useful for treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Using enoxaparin for DVT helps to heal the inflamed, clotted veins in the legs and pelvis that characterize this medical condition.

Research has shown that for many people, enoxaparin for DVT can be effective in a variety of medical situations. Chemotherapy treatment for cancer can sometimes lead to DVT, and this condition can be quite harmful, especially in children, where severe cases of DVT can require an interruption of the dosing regimen of the anti-cancer drugs. Treatment with enoxaparin for DVT when thrombosis was first detected caused the blood clots to disappear within a month or two of treatment. In many cases, this rate of relief from blood clots is rapid enough to allow chemotherapy to be completed without any missed sessions or delays.

Another function of taking enoxaparin for DVT is to prevent blood clot formation, in a strategy known as prophylaxis. Following orthopedic surgery, patients typically are unable to walk for a period of time, which can lead to blood clot formation in the legs. Studies have found that giving patients a dose of this medication based on their weight one to two times on the day before surgery can help avoid blood clot formation. For the prophylactic treatment to achieve optimal effects, smaller doses of the anticoagulant are given for seven to ten days after the surgery, as well.

Patients taking enoxaparin for DVT should be aware of some side effects that may limit its use in some individuals. Hemorrhaging, or internal bleeding, can occasionally occur in a small percentage of patients taking this medication. The chance of this occurring seems to be higher in some surgeries, such as hip replacement, than in others, such as knee replacement. Doctors sometimes may utilize a different anticoagulant if they feel the patient has a high risk of hemorrhage or other severe side effects, such as heart failure or atrial fibrillation, a condition that involves abnormal heart activity.

Drug interactions may also determine whether enoxaparin for DVT is appropriate for some patients. Certain painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with this medication. Platelet inhibitors, including acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin, may also cause harmful side effects. Doctors may decide to combine these medications, but close monitoring of the patient is often required to ensure their safety.

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