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All about: Argatroban

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Generic Name: Argatroban (ar-GA-troh-ban)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Argatroban is used for:

Thinning the blood to prevent or treat blood clots in patients who have low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia) due to heparin use, or in patients undergoing a certain procedure (percutaneous coronary intervention [PCI]) who have or are at risk for low platelet levels due to heparin use. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Argatroban is a thrombin inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of thrombin, which prevents blood clots from forming.

Do NOT use Argatroban if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Argatroban
  • you have severe bleeding
  • you are taking metronidazole, disulfiram, or heparin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Argatroban :

Some medical conditions may interact with Argatroban . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have an infection around the heart, a blood disorder, have had a stroke, a stomach or intestinal problem (eg, ulcers, lesions, bleeding), a bleeding disorder, low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), problems with the placement or development of an organ, severe high blood pressure, or liver disease
  • if you have recently had major surgery (especially involving the brain, spinal cord, or eye), lumbar or arterial puncture, anesthesia in your spine, an organ biopsy, or head trauma

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Argatroban . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, heparin, warfarin), antiplatelet medicines (eg, cilostazol), or thrombolytics (eg, alteplase) because side effects, such as increased risk of bleeding, may occur
  • Cephalosporins (eg, cefamandole), disulfiram, fluorouracil, furazolidone, metronidazole, or sulfonylureas (eg, glyburide) because the risk of side effects, including flushing, headache, vomiting, or fast or irregular heartbeat, may be increased by Argatroban

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Argatroban may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Argatroban :

Use Argatroban as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Argatroban is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Argatroban at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Argatroban contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Argatroban , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Argatroban .

Important safety information:

  • Argatroban may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Argatroban . Using Argatroban alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Before you begin taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, read the ingredients to see if it contains aspirin or other salicylates. If it does or if you are uncertain, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Argatroban may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Argatroban .
  • LAB TESTS, including blood cell counts, blood pressure, or blood clotting tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Argatroban with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Argatroban with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Argatroban during pregnancy. It is unknown if Argatroban is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Argatroban .

Possible side effects of Argatroban :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; injection site reactions (eg, minor bleeding, redness, or discomfort); nausea; pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black stools; chest pain; coffee-ground vomit; confusion; dizziness; easy bruising or bleeding; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever; one-sided weakness; pain (especially in the pelvis or legs); pink- or red-colored urine; serious bleeding; slurred speech; swelling; trouble breathing; vision problems; vomiting of blood.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include bleeding; convulsions; diminished reflexes; loss of consciousness; tremors.

Proper storage of Argatroban :

Argatroban is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Argatroban at home, store Argatroban as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Argatroban , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Argatroban is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Argatroban . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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