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Fragmin is an injectable drug known as a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) that your doctor may prescribe: if you are scheduled for knee or hip surgery; if you have had a previous heart attack; or if you are going to be immobile for an extended period of time, in order to prevent a blood clot from occurring. This injection may be carried out at home after a healthcare professional has demonstrated to you or your caregiver how and where to administer it subcutaneously (under your skin).
Your body forms clots as a natural “fix” for damage to blood vessels to stop the blood from leaking out. Blood clots are a collection of sticky blood cells. If a blood clot blocks the blood flow to your heart muscle and compromises the oxygen supply, a heart attack can occur. When oxygen is cut off from your brain, a stroke may be imminent.
Fragmin blocks the action of two of the 12 proteins in your blood that promote clots, factors X and II, to prevent a blood clot from forming. If a blood clot forms and breaks away, it can circulate in your blood and cause a blockage in an artery that may result in a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism depending on where the clot is located. Fragmin is not formulated to dissolve clots that have already formed, but it will stop them from becoming larger and prevent any from forming.
Slow blood flow in the leg and pelvic veins can result in clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Fragmin may be prescribed to prevent and treat these blood clots in the legs. The risk of deep vein thrombosis may be increased if you are immobile for a long period, take long plane flights, or have a medical condition that affects how your blood clots. If a clot forms and should break free, it can travel through your bloodstream and block the flow of blood by becoming lodged in your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Fragmin may also be used to prevent blood from clotting when it is filtered through a dialysis machine as part of the management of kidney failure.
You will need to provide your doctor with a list of all OTC and Rx drugs you are taking, including dietary or vitamin supplements so your doctor can be certain that Fragmin will not cause a negative reaction. Tell your health professional if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing a baby before taking Fragmin (Dalteparin). Advise your doctor of other medical conditions or allergies you have as some health conditions can cause you to bleed more easily after administering Fragmin.
Because Fragmin suppresses your clotting system, extra care should be taken to avoid situations, such as rough sports, shaving, brushing your teeth, or risky hobbies, that can cause injuries. Elderly people may be more sensitive to bleeding than younger patients. Keep all medications out of children’s reach and dispose of injection material properly in a ‘sharps’ container you can pick up at your local pharmacy.