Clotting Disorder Treatments
Unfractionated Heparin (UFH)
Unfractionated heparin’s major blood-thinning effect is through inactivation of thrombin and activated factor X in the presence of a natural blood thinner called antithrombin. Unfractionated heparin can be given intravenously as a continuous infusion in the hospital setting, or under the skin in other settings.
A specific blood test called an activated partial thromboplastin time can measure the effectiveness of unfractionated heparin in thinning the blood. Unfractionated heparin is often used in the setting of an acutely ill patient in the hospital who is bedridden or is having major surgery. It can be used to treat:
Deep vein thrombosis
As with all blood thinners, heparin is not without its side effects, and it is associated with an increased risk of low platelets, bleeding events, and bone weakening/loss.
Argatroban is called a direct thrombin inhibitor because it stops the action of a clotting protein called thrombin. It prevents blood clots by binding to thrombin and blocking its blood clotting activity. Argatroban is used as anticoagulant therapy in patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. It can only be given in the hospital setting, and it is dosed intravenously.
Bivalirudin (Angiomax, Angiox)
Bivalirudin stops blood clotting by directly inhibiting the activation of thrombin. It is called a direct thrombin inhibitor and prevents blood clots by inhibiting both free and clot-bound thrombin and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation.
It is often used as an anticoagulant in patients undergoing coronary artery stent placement who cannot take heparin-based anticoagulants due to a previous reaction. It can be given intravenously only in the hospital setting.
Call the IHTC to learn more about the best clotting disorder treatment options for you or your child.