Heparin sodium is an anticoagulant drug derived from pig intestines.
It is a negatively charged linear polysaccharide belonging to the glycosaminoglycan family. Its main characteristic is the presence of a sequence of five sugars in the polysaccharide chain capable of interacting with antithrombin III (ATIII).
It binds reversibly to antithrombin III (ATIII) and significantly accelerates the rate at which ATIII inactivates the coagulation enzymes: thrombin (factor IIa) and factor Xa of the coagulation cascade. The effects of unfractionated heparin (UFH) can generally be reversed using protamine sulphate.
- Prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
- Prevention of post-operative deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing major abdominal or thoracic surgery or who, for other reasons, are at risk of developing thromboembolic disease.
- Atrial fibrillation with embolisation
- Treatment of acute and chronic clotting disorders (disseminated intravascular coagulation)
- Prevention of coagulation during arterial and heart surgery
- Prophylaxis and treatment of peripheral arterial embolism
- As an anticoagulant in blood transfusions, extracorporeal circulation and dialysis procedures