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Desirudin (By injection)

Desirudin (des-i-ROO-din)

Treats or prevents blood clots after hip surgery. This medicine is a blood thinner.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not use it if you had an allergic reaction to desirudin or to similar medicines, or if you have a blood clotting disorder or any active bleeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. You may store the mixed solution at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Throw away any unused medicine after 24 hours.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how desirudin works. Tell your doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Abciximab, clopidogrel, dextran, dipyridamole, ketorolac, sulfinpyrazone, or ticlopidine
    • Another blood thinner (such as heparin), a steroid medicine, or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have hemophilia or other bleeding problems, kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure that is not controlled, stomach ulcer or bleeding, diabetic retinopathy, heart problems including infection, a history of stroke or spinal injury, or recently had any surgery or biopsy procedure.
  • This medicine may make you bleed or bruise more easily. Take precautions to prevent injuries. Brush and floss your teeth gently and be careful with sharp objects. Blow your nose gently and do not pick it.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bleeding that does not stop, bruising, weakness
  • Bloody or black stools, red or dark brown urine
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Pain, tenderness, or swelling in your lower leg (calf)
  • Sudden back pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs or lower body
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Redness, pain, or bruising where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 10/6/2020

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