enoxaparin, Lovenox

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GENERIC NAME: enoxaparin


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Enoxaparin is a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) that is used to prevent blood clots. It is produced by chemically breaking heparin into smaller-sized molecules. Unlike heparin, the effect of enoxaparin does not need to be monitored with blood tests. Like heparin, enoxaparin prevents blood clots from forming by blocking the action of two of the 12 clot-promoting proteins in blood (factors X and II) whose action is necessary for blood to clot. Enoxaparin 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. Thrombosis and embolism are responsible for 300,000 to 600,000 hospitalizations each year, and pulmonary embolism causes as many as 200,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Patients undergoing hip replacement and other major surgery are at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. The FDA approved enoxaparin in 1993.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2014

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