How to Inject Heparin or Lovenox Subcutaneously

Subcutaneous Injection 3014277435_c5f0e1bbd4_zWhen you are undergoing reproductive immunology and other treatments, the treatment may call for injecting Heparin (or Lovenox) subcutaneously (under the skin). At RIA, we provide the following instructions to help you understand how to inject Heparin.

Many of our patients have never injected themselves with a needle! You might be a little anxious about the procedure, but after a while you will get used to it.

Important things to remember about your Heparin injections:

  • Like all medications, Heparin should be prescribed and its use monitored by your physician.
  • Always check concentration of Heparin on the vial you are using.
  • Heparin is to be given 2 times a day at 10-14 hour intervals.
  • Depending upon the recommendation, Heparin will be started on day 6 of the cycle of planned conception or 48 hours after ovulation.

Dosage Chart for Drawing Heparin 5000 IU

 Concentration (IU/ml)  Amount of Inject (cc)
 5,000  1.0
 10,000  0.5
 20,000  0.25
 40,000  0.125

How to plan and manage your Heparin injections

  1. The preferred site of injection is the abdominal area. Injections must be given 2 inches away from the umbilicus (see diagram). If you need another area to inject your Heparin, you may use your thighs or buttocks.

Heparin Injection Sites

  1. Rotate your sites of injections. Avoid injecting a bruised area.
  2. Bruising at the injection site is normal, but it should be less than the size of a quarter. If too much bruising occurs, use ice before you clean the area for the injection and/or after you have given yourself the injection.
  3. Notify your doctor that you are taking Heparin before any surgical procedure.
  4. Carry an identification card in your wallet stating that you are on Heparin.
  5. Contact your doctor if any of the following symptoms occur: nose bleeds, blood in the urine or stool, excessive bleeding lasting greater then 15 minutes and not controlled by direct pressure, unusual bruising not at the site of injection.

Steps to Follow for Injecting Heparin Subcutaneously

  1. Wipe the area with alcohol. Do not rub. Rubbing increases the chance for bruising and bleeding.
  2. Remove the cap from needle and gently pick up a well-defined fold of skin.
  3. Hold the syringe in a dart fashion and insert the needle directly into the skin at a 45-90 degree angle just into the subcutaneous or “fatty layer” of the skin.
  4. Push down on the plunger slowly as far as it will go.
  5. When all the heparin has been injected, slowly withdraw the needle at the same angle at which it entered, releasing the skin roll as you withdraw.
  6. Apply light pressure to the area with a cotton ball for a few minutes. Do not rub the area.

That’s it! You have successfully completed your Heparin injection. If you have any problems contact your doctor.

For more information about immune system issues that cause recurrent miscarriages and our Reproductive Immunology treatments, please visit our page Miscarriages Can Be Prevented or contact us for more information.


Photo on Flickr by Steven Depolo. Some Rights Reserved.

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