What is Enoxaparin?

Debra Durkee
Debra Durkee
Bruising is a common side effect of enoxaparin.
Bruising is a common side effect of enoxaparin.

Enoxaparin is a medication used to prevent individuals who are on extended bed rest from developing clots. This condition, known as deep vein thrombosis, can be life threatening if the clots break free and travel to the lungs. Given as an injection either directly into a vein or just under the skin, dosing options for enoxaparin vary based on the individual. Individuals who commonly receive enoxaparin are those who have had knee or hip surgery, abdominal surgery, or who are in the recovery stages of a long illness.

Extended bed rest can lead to blood clots and pressure wounds.
Extended bed rest can lead to blood clots and pressure wounds.

Deep vein thrombosis is a dangerous condition that can develop in an individual who has had no previous signs of an unhealthy cardiovascular system. Prolonged bed rest, especially when recovering from surgery, can cause clots to develop in the legs. These clots can break free and cause a pulmonary embolism when they are carried from the legs into the lungs. Enoxaparin can help prevent these clots by acting as a blood thinner and inhibiting the ability of platelets to stick together.

Treatment options for those on enoxaparin vary based on the condition of the individual. A clear or light yellow liquid, it is typically administered first by a health professional in a clinic or hospital setting. Those who will be taking the medication for a time can be instructed on how to use it and allowed to inject themselves at home. Even when the drug is administered at home, many health professionals will request regular follow-up visits and conduct blood tests to ensure that there are no unseen side effects developing from use of the drug.

As the medication impacts the clotting ability of the blood, some individuals may find they become more susceptible to bruising and bleeding, especially around the area where the injection is given. This side effect can be a sign that the dosing of enoxaparin may be off. Other side effects include an allergic reaction with a rash, hives or swelling, muscle weakness, headaches, confusion, chest pain, or a tingling in the extremities. These side effects are rare, but should receive medical attention.

Other side effects are more common, such as bruising or swelling at the injection site, swelling in the extremities, and gastrointestinal discomfort. These side effects usually pass once the body gets used to the medication. Blood tests may be conducted to see how severe the reactions are, and what impact the drug is having on the makeup of the blood.

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    • Bruising is a common side effect of enoxaparin.
      By: roblan
      Bruising is a common side effect of enoxaparin.
    • Extended bed rest can lead to blood clots and pressure wounds.
      By: april_89
      Extended bed rest can lead to blood clots and pressure wounds.