HEPARIN SODIUM IN SODIUM CHLORIDE: Package Insert and Label Information

HEPARIN SODIUM IN SODIUM CHLORIDE- heparin sodium injection, solution
Baxter Healthcare Corporation


Heparin Sodium in Sodium Chloride Injection at a concentration of 2 units/mL is indicated as an anticoagulant to maintain catheter patency.


2.1 Preparation for Administration

Do not administer unless solution is clear, and seal is intact. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. Do not infuse this product under pressure.

To Open:

Tear overwrap down side at slit and remove solution container. Visually inspect the container. If the outlet port protector is damaged, detached, or not present, discard container as solution path sterility may be impaired. Some opacity of the plastic due to moisture absorption during the sterilization process may be observed. This is normal and does not affect the solution quality or safety. The opacity will diminish gradually. Check for minute leaks by squeezing inner bag firmly. If leaks are found discard solution as sterility may be impaired. Do not add supplementary medication.

Preparation for Administration:

Suspend container from eyelet support.
Remove plastic protector from outlet port at bottom of container.
Attach administration set. Refer to complete directions accompanying set.

All injections in VIAFLEX PLUS plastic containers are intended for administration using sterile equipment.

Single-dose container.

Discard any unused portion.

Do not reconnect partially used bags.

Because dosages of this drug are titrated to response, no additives should be made to Heparin Sodium in Sodium Chloride Injection.

Heparin sodium is not effective by oral administration and Heparin Sodium in Sodium Chloride Injection should not be given orally.

2.2 Maintenance of Catheter Patency

The recommended starting dose is 6 units per hour by intravenous infusion through an intravenous catheter to maintain catheter patency.


Injection: 1,000 USP units per 500 mL (2 units per mL) clear solution in a single-dose infusion bag
Injection: 2,000 USP units per 1,000 mL (2 units per mL) clear solution in a single-dose infusion bag


The use of Heparin Sodium in Sodium Chloride Injection is contraindicated in patients with the following conditions:

Uncontrollable active bleeding state, except when this is due to disseminated intravascular coagulation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
History of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis (HITT) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
Severe thrombocytopenia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3)]
Known hypersensitivity to heparin or pork products (e.g., anaphylactoid reactions) [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]


5.1 Hemorrhage

Avoid using heparin in the presence of major bleeding, except when the benefits of heparin therapy outweigh the potential risks.

Hemorrhage can occur at virtually any site in patients receiving heparin. Fatal hemorrhages have occurred. A higher incidence of bleeding has been reported in patients, particularly women, over 60 years of age [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)]. An unexplained fall in hematocrit, fall in blood pressure, or any other unexplained symptom should lead to serious consideration of hemorrhagic event.

Use heparin sodium with caution in disease states in which there is increased risk of hemorrhage, including:

Cardiovascular — Subacute bacterial endocarditis, severe hypertension.
Surgical — During and immediately following (a) spinal tap or spinal anesthesia or (b) major surgery, especially involving the brain, spinal cord, or eye.
Hematologic — Conditions associated with increased bleeding tendencies, such as hemophilia, thrombocytopenia, and some vascular purpuras.
Gastrointestinal — Ulcerative lesions and continuous tube drainage of the stomach or small intestine.
Patients with hereditary antithrombin III deficiency receiving concurrent antithrombin III therapy – The anticoagulant effect of heparin is enhanced by concurrent treatment with antithrombin III (human) in patients with hereditary antithrombin III deficiency. To reduce the risk of bleeding, reduce the heparin dose during concomitant treatment with antithrombin III (human).
Other — Menstruation, liver disease with impaired hemostasis.

5.2 Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia and Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia with Thrombosis

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a serious immune-mediated reaction. HIT occurs in patients treated with heparin and is due to the development of antibodies to a platelet Factor 4-heparin complex that induce in vivo platelet aggregation. HIT may progress to the development of venous and arterial thromboses, a condition referred to as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis (HITT). Thrombotic events may also be the initial presentation for HITT. These serious thromboembolic events include deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, cerebral vein thrombosis, limb ischemia, stroke, myocardial infarction, mesenteric thrombosis, renal arterial thrombosis, skin necrosis, gangrene of the extremities that may lead to amputation, and possibly death.

Once HIT or HITT is diagnosed or strongly suspected, discontinue all heparin sources (including heparin flushes) and use an alternative anticoagulant.

Immune-mediated HIT is diagnosed based on clinical findings supplemented by laboratory tests confirming the presence of antibodies to heparin, or platelet activation induced by heparin. Obtain platelet counts at baseline and periodically during heparin administration. A drop in platelet count greater than 50% from baseline is considered indicative of HIT. Platelet counts begin to fall 5 to 10 days after exposure to heparin in heparin–naive individuals and reach a threshold by days 7 to 14. In contrast, “rapid onset” HIT can occur very quickly (within 24 hours following heparin initiation), especially in patients with a recent exposure to heparin (i.e., previous 3 months). Thrombosis development shortly after documenting thrombocytopenia is a characteristic finding in almost half of all patients with HIT.

Monitor any degree of thrombocytopenia closely. If the platelet count falls below 100,000/mm3 or if recurrent thrombosis develops, promptly discontinue heparin, evaluate for HIT and HITT, and, if necessary, administer an alternative anticoagulant. HIT or HITT can occur up to several weeks after the discontinuation of heparin therapy. Evaluate patients presenting with thrombocytopenia or thrombosis after discontinuation of heparin sodium for HIT or HITT.

5.3 Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia in patients receiving heparin has been reported at frequencies up to 30%. It can occur 2 to 20 days (average 5 to 9) following the onset of heparin therapy. Obtain platelet counts before and periodically during heparin therapy. Mild thrombocytopenia (count greater than 100,000/mm3) may remain stable or reverse even if heparin is continued. However, monitor thrombocytopenia of any degree closely. If the count falls below 100,000/mm3 or if recurrent thrombosis develops, promptly discontinue heparin, evaluate for HIT and HITT, and, if necessary, administer an alternative anticoagulant [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

5.4 Heparin Resistance

Increased resistance to heparin is frequently encountered in fever, thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, infections with thrombosing tendencies, myocardial infarction, cancer, in postsurgical patients, and patients with anti-thrombin deficiency. Consider measurement of anti-thrombin levels if heparin resistance is suspected. Monitor coagulation tests frequently in such patients. It may be necessary to adjust the dose of heparin based on coagulation test monitoring, such as anti-Factor Xa levels and/or partial thromboplastin time.

5.5 Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity reactions with chills, fever and urticaria as the most usual manifestations and also asthma, rhinitis, lacrimation, and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported. Patients with documented hypersensitivity to heparin should be given the drug only in clearly life-threatening situations. Because Heparin Sodium in Sodium Chloride Injection is derived from animal tissue, it should be used with caution in patients with a history of allergy to pork products.

5.6 Hyperkalemia

Heparin can suppress adrenal secretion of aldosterone leading to hyperkalemia, particularly in patients with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, pre-existing metabolic acidosis, a raised plasma potassium, or taking potassium sparing drugs. The risk of hyperkalemia appears to increase with duration of therapy but is usually reversible upon discontinuation of heparin.

Measure plasma potassium in patients at risk of hyperkalemia before starting heparin therapy and periodically in all patients treated for more than 5 days or earlier as deemed fit by the clinician.

5.7 Elevations of Serum Aminotransferases

Significant elevations of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels have occurred patients who have received heparin. Elevation of these enzymes in patients receiving heparin should be interpreted with caution. These elevations typically resolve upon heparin discontinuation.

5.8 Laboratory Tests

Periodic platelet counts, hematocrits, and tests for occult blood in stool are recommended during the entire course of heparin therapy, regardless of the route of administration.


The following clinically significant adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

Hemorrhage [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia and Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia with Thrombosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
Thrombocytopenia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
Heparin Resistance [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
Hypersensitivity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
Hyperkalemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
Elevations of Serum Aminotransferases [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]

6.1 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of heparin sodium. Because the reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency.


Hemorrhage is the chief complication that may result from heparin therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. An overly prolonged clotting time or minor bleeding during therapy can usually be controlled by withdrawing the drug [see Overdosage (10)]. Gastrointestinal or urinary tract bleeding during anticoagulant therapy may indicate the presence of an underlying occult lesion. Bleeding can occur at any site but certain specific hemorrhagic complications may be difficult to detect:

Adrenal hemorrhage, with resultant acute adrenal insufficiency, has occurred during anticoagulant therapy, including fatal cases.
Ovarian (corpus luteum) hemorrhage developed in a number of women of reproductive age receiving short or long-term anticoagulant therapy.
Retroperitoneal hemorrhage

Vascular Disorders: Contusion, Vasospastic reactions (including episodes of painful, ischemic, and cyanosed limbs).

HIT and HITT, including delayed onset cases, Thrombocytopenia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3)].

Histamine-like reactions: Such reactions have been observed at the site of injections. Necrosis of the skin has been reported at the site of subcutaneous injection of heparin, occasionally requiring skin grafting.

Hypersensitivity: General hypersensitivity reactions have been reported, with chills, fever, and urticaria as the most usual manifestations, and asthma, rhinitis, lacrimation, headache, nausea and vomiting, and anaphylactoid reactions, including shock, occurring more rarely. Itching and burning, especially on the plantar site of the feet, may occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Musculoskeletal, Connective Tissue and Bone Disorders: Osteoporosis with long-term administration of heparin.

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: Hyperkalemia.

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: Erythema, mild pain, ulceration.

Elevations of serum aminotransferases: Significant elevations of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels have occurred patients who have received heparin.

Others: Cutaneous necrosis after systemic administration, delayed transient alopecia, priapism, and rebound hyperlipemia on discontinuation of heparin sodium have also been reported.


7.1 Oral Anticoagulants

Heparin sodium may prolong the one-stage prothrombin time. Therefore, when heparin sodium is given with dicumarol or warfarin sodium, a period of at least 5 hours after the last intravenous dose or 24 hours after the last subcutaneous dose should elapse before blood is drawn if a valid prothrombin time is to be obtained.

7.2 Platelet Inhibitors

Drugs such as NSAIDS (including acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, indomethacin, and celecoxib), dextran, phenylbutazone, thienopyridines, dipyridamole, hydroxychloroquine, glycoprotein IIv/IIa antagonists (including abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban), and others that interfere with platelet-aggregation reactions (the main hemostatic defense of heparinized patients) may induce bleeding and should be used with caution in patients receiving heparin sodium. To reduce the risk of bleeding, a reduction in the dose of antiplatelet agent or heparin is recommended.

7.3 Other Medications that May Interfere with Heparin

Digitalis, tetracyclines, nicotine or antihistamines may partially counteract the anticoagulant action of heparin sodium. Intravenous nitroglycerin administered to heparinized patients may result in a decrease of the partial thromboplastin time with subsequent rebound effect upon discontinuation of nitroglycerin. Careful monitoring of partial thromboplastin time and adjustment of heparin dosage are recommended during coadministration of heparin and intravenous nitroglycerin.

Antithrombin III (human) – The anticoagulant effect of heparin is enhanced by concurrent treatment with antithrombin III (human) in patients with hereditary antithrombin III deficiency. To reduce the risk of bleeding, a reduced dosage of heparin is recommended during treatment with antithrombin III (human).

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