Liquaemin is a prescription drug that was discovered in the early 1900s, before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was formed. It is also known by its drug name, Heparin, and the alternate brand name Liquaemin. In lupus, Liquaemin is prescribed to reduce the risk for blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Liquaemin may also be prescribed to pregnant women with lupus, especially those who have previously lost pregnancies, in order to prevent miscarriage. Liquaemin is often prescribed for people with lupus who test positive for antiphospholipid antibodies. Approximately one-third of people with lupus have these antibodies, which significantly raise the risk for blood clots and related complications.
Liquaemin quickly produces effects. However, Liquaemin may not be appropriate for long-term use since it eventually raises the risk of osteoporosis. Most people with lupus who require long-term therapy are eventually switched to Warfarin.
Liquaemin may not be appropriate for those with blood-related disorders such as low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) or for people who have shown hypersensitivity to Liquaemin in the past.
Liquaemin is a member of a class of drugs called anticoagulants, which reduce the ability of blood to form clots. Liquaemin is believed to work by interfering with two molecules, thrombin and fibrin, which promote blood clotting.
How do I take it?
Liquaemin must be injected, either under the skin (subcutaneously) or into a vein (intravenously). Depending on your condition, age, size and weight, Liquaemin may need to be administered one to six times per day. Your doctor will instruct you or a caregiver on how to inject Liquaemin at home.
Your doctor may prescribe blood tests and clotting time tests before you begin taking Liquaemin and regularly during the time you are taking it.
Avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen and supplements that contain Vitamin K while taking anticoagulants. Do not smoke or drink alcohol while taking anticoagulants, as these substances may lower the effectiveness of the drug and increase the risk of side effects.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Liquaemin.
A 2006 article reviewed 13 clinical trials involving 849 pregnant women with lupus who tested positive for antiphospholipid antibodies and had lost at least one previous pregnancy. Researchers found that participants who were treated with a combination of unfractionated Heparin (Liquaemin) and Aspirin lowered their risk of losing another pregnancy by 54 percent.
Common side effects of Liquaemin include easy bleeding and bruising. Call your doctor immediately if you experience a nosebleed, blood in your urine, black, tarry-looking stools, or bleeding that will not stop.
Liquaemin can cause infusion reactions. Get medical help immediately if you experience shortness of breath, very low blood pressure, dizziness, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, or weakness.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions which, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.