Pharmaceutics is defined as the study of how various dosage forms influence the way in which the drug affects the body The dosage forms of heparin are intravenous (IV) and/or subcutaneous Dosages of heparin vary depending on the age of the patient. Patient teaching Is essential when using heparin. They should be taught how to manage their medication and how significant it is to administer the correct dosage prescribed, as well as which route is to be used.
Patients must understand the importance of telling their doctor if they have high blood pressure, an infection Involving the heart, hemophilia, a stomach or Intestinal disorder, liver disease, or if you are on experiencing your menstrual cycle.
It is important to advise the patient to avoid over the counter preparations that may cause serious product interactions (Roth, 2013). The study of what the body does to the drug is known as Pharmacokinetics (Lilley, Rainforth Collins, Snyder, 2013, p. 20). The body absorbs a subcutaneous Injection well.
Although the distribution and protein binding In the body are unknown, It Is recognized that heparin Is metabolized partially In the kidneys, and In the liver. The excretion of heparin from the body takes place In the lymph, spleen, and In the urine. The half-life of this medication is one and one-half hours. The onset of heparin tnrougn an IV Is Tlve minutes; wnereas suocutaneously tne onset Is nalT an nour to one hour. Peak times for IV heparin is said to be around 10 minutes and subcutaneous is approximately two hours.
The duration times for this drug also vary here IV heparin lasts 2-6 hours and subcutaneous lasts from 8-12 hours (Roth, 2013). Pharmacodynamics is known as the study of what the drug does to the body. Because heparin is an anticoagulant, it is also called antithrombotic because it works to prevent the formation of a clot or thrombus. All anticoagulants work in the clotting cascade but so at different points. This specific drug prevents conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin and prothrombin by enhancing inhibitory effects of antithrombin Ill.
Heparin works by binding to antithrombin Ill, turning off three main activating actors. The overall effect of heparin is that it turns off the coagulation pathway and prevents clots from forming (Lilley, Rainforth Collins, Snyder, 2013, p. 422). The therapeutic outcome for a patient on heparin is prevention of thrombi. Monitoring of the intensity of the anticoagulant effect of heparin has been considered desirable, especially in the treatment of acute Venous Thromboembolism, in an attempt to secure maximal anti-thrombotic effect without excessive risk of bleeding through over-anticoagulation.
Accurate laboratory monitoring has proven to e difficult to achieve for both unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin. There are numerous interactions of heparin and other drugs noted in Mosbys Drug Guide for Nursing Students (2013). For instance: Dextran, dipyridole, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, and presgrel increase the action of heparin, while Digoxin and Nicotine decrease the action. Lab results show an increased AL T, AST, INR, pro- time, PTT, and potassium. It also shows a decrease in platelets, triglycerides, cholesterol, and plasma free fatty acids.
Though some patients may not experience n interaction with another drug, some may encounter some unpleasant side effects. Some of the adverse effects of this medication can be life-threatening such as Hematuria of the genitourinary system, as well as hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, anemia, and anaphylaxis in other parts of the body. Some of the more common events include fever, rash, chills, and headaches (p. 519). Upon educating the patient on the drug, it is imperative to instruct that the product may be withheld during active bleeding (menstruation), depending on ondition.
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