GENERIC NAME: dalteparin Injection
BRAND NAMES: Fragmin
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Dalteparin is a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) similar to enoxaparin (Lovenox) and tinzaparin. Dalteparin is used to treat or prevent blood clots and their complications (deep vein thrombosis or DVT and pulmonary embolism or PE). Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of blood clots in veins deep in a muscle, most often in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis may lead to pulmonary embolism, a condition in which a piece of the clot (the embolus) breaks loose and travels through the veins to the lung. In the lung the clot blocks an artery and prevents the part of the lung that is supplied by the artery from working normally. If the artery that is blocked is a large artery, the embolus can cause sudden death. Patients undergoing hip replacement and other major surgery are at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Dalteparin, like other LMWHs is derived from breaking heparin into smaller units. Dalteparin prevents clot formation by accelerating the breakdown of clotting factors Xa and IIa (thrombin) by antithrombin III. Unfractionated heparin, unlike LMWHs, also breaks down clotting factors IX, XI, XII, and plasmin. Unlike heparin, the effect of dalteparin does not need to be monitored with blood tests. The FDA approved dalteparin in December 1994.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Dalteparin is used as a blood thinner for the prevention of blood clots in patients with unstable angina and non-Q-wave heart attack. It is used for preventing blood clots called deep venous thrombosis (DVT) that can occur after abdominal surgery, hip replacement surgery, or in sick patients who are unable to be mobile. In cancer patients, it may be used to treat blood clots and prevent further clot formation. It may also be used to treat blood clots in non-cancer patients.
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