Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Clots Can Be Treated By Injections At Home

Date:
August 25, 2006
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Treatment of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs or the lungs with an older, less expensive form of the anticoagulant medication heparin can be just as safe and effective as similar treatment with a newer and more expensive heparin.

Treatment of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs or the lungs with an older, less expensive form of the anticoagulant medication heparin can be just as safe and effective as similar treatment with a newer and more expensive heparin, according to a study led by Clive Kearon, professor of medicine at McMaster University, published in the August 23 issue of JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association).

Related Articles


When injected subcutaneously (beneath the skin), unfractionated (regular) heparin was shown in a randomized trial to work just as well as subcutaneous injection of the more expensive, low-molecular weight heparin in the treatment of venous thromboembolism. Traditionally, when unfractionated heparin is used in treatment, it is administered intravenously and accompanied by coagulation monitoring, which requires hospitalization. This standard approach includes ongoing dose adjustment in response to measurement of the APTT, a test that measures how fast the blood clots in a test tube under certain conditions.

The newer low-molecular weight heparins, which are administered by injection in fixed-weight doses, have gradually been replacing unfractionated heparin.

Kearon and colleagues conducted a randomized trial to study how fixed-dose, subcutaneous injection of unfractionated heparin compared to injection with the newer heparin in the treatment of blood clots in the legs or lungs.

The study was conducted from September 1998 through February 2004 at six university-affiliated clinical centres in Canada and New Zealand. Patients in the trial received either unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin administered subcutaneously every 12 hours. About 70 per cent of both groups were treated as outpatients. All patients received three months of warfarin (an anticoagulant drug) therapy.

Recurrent thromboembolism occurred in 3.8 per cent of the 345 patients in the unfractionated heparin group, and in 3.4 percent of the 352 patients in the low-molecular weight heparin group. The rate of major bleeding was comparable in the two groups.

The authors estimate that drug costs for a six-day course of treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin would be $712 (US), while unfractionated heparin would cost just $37 - assuming both drugs are administered in the regimens used in the study. The study indicates the potential for huge costs savings.

"Fixed-dose subcutaneous unfractionated heparin is as effective and safe as low-molecular-weight heparin for initial treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism and is suitable for treatment at home," concluded Dr. Kearon, who is a physician at Hamilton Health Sciences. "In addition, the results of this study question the value of APTT monitoring in patients who are treated with currently recommended doses of unfractionated heparin."

"We've come a long way from having to spend several weeks in hospital with an intravenous heparin drip to a possible out-patient treatment that is safe, efficient, and less expensive," says Dr. Andreas Wielgosz, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

This study was supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Dr. Kearon and co-author Dr. James Douketis, an internal medicine specialist, were funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Co-author Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, also of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, was supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Blood Clots Can Be Treated By Injections At Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822181730.htm>.
McMaster University. (2006, August 25). Blood Clots Can Be Treated By Injections At Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822181730.htm
McMaster University. "Blood Clots Can Be Treated By Injections At Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822181730.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins