Heparin is an interesting drug with a lot of unique clinical quirks. This drug ultimately inhibits the formation of fibrin. Fibrin is an essential component of a blood clot.
Because heparin has blood thinning effects, it is critical to assess a patient’s bleed risk. Look out for other agents that may increase the risk of bleeding. Examples include; NSAIDs, antiplatelet agents, and other anticoagulants.
One classic test question about heparin that often comes up is the reversal agent. Protamine can be used to help reverse the effects of heparin.
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia is a critical adverse effect to understand. I discuss both subtypes on the podcast and let you know what to look out for.
Rarer side effects of heparin include hyperkalemia and osteoporosis (only with long term use).
On this episode of the Real Life Pharmacology Podcast, I discuss aspirin pharmacology.
The two most common adverse effects with aspirin are GI upset and increasing the risk for bleeding and bruising.
A commonly asked test question about aspirin is whether it can be used in pediatrics and what risk we encounter if we use it.
Another rare effect with aspirin is tinnitus which I discuss further on this episode.
It is critical to pay attention to other medications that can thin the blood in a patient taking aspirin. Examples include anticoagulants like warfarin, apixaban, rivaroxaban; antiplatelets like clopidogrel or prasugrel; or NSAIDs.
Warfarin is one of the most notorious medications when it comes to drug interactions. I cover the MOA, side effects, drug interactions, and pharmacology of the medication. Enjoy the episode and don’t for get to subscribe to get our free study resources!