side effects

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These include:

  • haemorrhage, reversed by protamine sulphate
  • thrombocytopaenia - this is due to a direct effect of heparin on platelets, which generally improves with cessation of heparin. There also appears to be an immune mechanism that occurs 6-12 days after commencing heparin therapy. This latter cause of thrombocytopaenia via heparin-associated immune mediated aggregation of platelets may predispose to formation of platelet thrombus and disseminated intravascular coagulation, in addition to thrombocytopaenia.
  • other side effects include alopecia and osteoporosis

Last reviewed 01/2018

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