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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Heparin shortage worldwide

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Author Topic: Heparin shortage worldwide
MariaA
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I just got off the phone with a compounding pharmacy about heparin after getting weird answers from another compounding pharmacy about availability.

Apparently, as a result of problems with manufacturers in China, there's a worldwide shortage of it. It's available, but the small supply is being held for hospitals and people with life-threatening conditions or something like that.

The pharmacist recommended that I look into Lovenox, which is a brand of "low molecular weight heparin", which she said is synthetic and not made by the same manufacturers. (incidentally we were talking about subcutaneous injectible form, I didn't ask if it's available any other way)

She said it's synthesized to resemble the active ingredients (she didn't use those exact words) of heparin, works well, and that since it's available at "normal" pharmacies, insurance should cover it.

I'll email my doctor and see if he thinks this is also a way to deal with hypercoagulation.

For your information...

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dmc
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Lovenox runs about $100.00 per prefilled shot.

I've been on Lovenox since end of June due to IV abx & genetic clotting problem.

It didn't prevent blood clots for me. Ultrasound found 2 large ones near the PICC 4 weeks ago.

Picc pulled and now on Lovenox as well as cumodin to disolve the clots.

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seibertneurolyme
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Hubby just got his scrip for injectible heparin filled -- was wondering why the price went up about 30 or 40 %.

You may still be able to find it in multiple use vials in various strengths -- about a month ago the pharmacy switched the scrip from 5000 units per ml to 10,000 units per ml.

Bea Seibert

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MariaA
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I called McGuff Compounding Pharmacy about it 2 weeks ago, and the sublingual was available from what I could tell. I also called Dollar Compounding yesterday (both are in California), and they sounded like they could get it within a few days. Then I called a third place local to me and they told me there was a problem. They said they COULD still get it but it would have to be coming out of the hospital's stock of it, and they kept asking me what I was treating with it and trying to suggest alternatives.

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tdtid
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Help me out here. Is what you are talking about a substancial amount?

I mean, I'm on IV treatment and they have you do S.A.S.H.

That's an injection into the port line of saline, then Administer your abx, Saline and then Heparin.

It's not that much but what I've been doing since being on IV. Is this the stuff you are having trouble getting ahold of or are you discussing a major treatment and large quantities?

Cathy

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Angelica
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Someone mentioned in the mangosteen juice thread that the mangosteen juice thinned their blood so well they stopped having to take their heparin.

I know Allergy Research also carries natural supplements that will thin your blood.

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aklnwlf
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Possibly a shortage due to the contamination problem with Heparin?

Saw it advertised on tv by a law firm looking for clients.

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Do not take this as medical advice. This comment is based on opinion and personal experience only.

Alaska Lone Wolf

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MariaA
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I haven't taken heparin yet, and when I called the pharmacies I didn't have my prescription yet. So I had limited information that I was giving them about what I needed.

ANyway, they were asking me about whether mine was part of an IV treatment like what you're describing, and I told them I wasn't on IV and that I thought my doc was going to prescribe it in subcutaneous form (I think that's what he meant when he said injection, rather than intramuscular (blech)).


It sounded like it could have been available if I wanted to get it, but it seemed like there was heavily restricted supply and I didn't want to order it and leave someone out of heparin who needed it worse than I do (I don't know for sure that it'll help me). They said the hospitals had it for their own use and that if it were a really serious matter they'd get it for me from that supply.

So, I don't think you'll have trouble getting it, but you might want to call the supplier you get your meds from and inquire in advance.

It's also possible that my pharmacy's information was wrong.


quote:
Originally posted by tdtid:
Help me out here. Is what you are talking about a substancial amount?

I mean, I'm on IV treatment and they have you do S.A.S.H.

That's an injection into the port line of saline, then Administer your abx, Saline and then Heparin.

It's not that much but what I've been doing since being on IV. Is this the stuff you are having trouble getting ahold of or are you discussing a major treatment and large quantities?

Cathy



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MariaA
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I think I was asking about injectible, 20,000 units per ml. I didn't actually have info on how much per day because I didn't get my prescription yet- I was just price shopping- so that's as far as the conversation with the pharmacy got.

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Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
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AP
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I noticed someone asked about the flushes... I haven't had a problem getting Heparin flushes for my IV.

Since they've been able to maintain my INR on just Coumadin this go round, I haven't needed the injections either...

Injections that I've tried in lieu of Heparin in the past are:

Lovenox
Arixtra
Fragmin

I'm extremely allergic to Lovenox, so Arixtra is the drug of choice before any type of procedure in which they need me to stop the coumadin.

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