Enoxaparin

Sounds like 'ee-NOX-a-PAR-in'

Easy-to-read medicine information about enoxaparin – what it is, how to use it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Anticoagulant (also called 'blood thinner')
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as low molecular weight heparins
  • Clexane®
  • Clexane Forte®

What is enoxaparin?

  • Enoxaparin is an anticoagulant or 'blood thinner'. It is used to prevent and treat blood clots, that can block blood vessels. Enoxaparin lowers the activity of clotting proteins in the blood, and keeps the blood flowing well. 
  • It is used to stop blood clots forming after major surgeries such as hip or knee surgery, or abdominal surgery, and it is used if a blood clot has already formed in the heart (heart attack), leg (deep vein thrombosis)  or lung (pulmonary embolism).    
  • Enoxaparin is given as an injection. It is in a pre-filled syringe, so the syringe comes with the medicine in it. 

Dose

  • The dose of enoxaparin is different for different people, depending on it use and on body weight. 
  • Your doctor will work out the best dose for you. 
  • Inject enoxaparin exactly as your doctor or nurse has told you. The pharmacy label will tell you how much enoxaparin to use, how often to use it and any special instructions. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will show you how to use it properly.
  • It is important to let health professionals know that you are taking enoxaparin such as your dentist, your pharmacist, your podiatrist, or your nurse.

How to use enoxaparin

How to Inject Clexane at Home: A Patient Guide

  • Enoxaparin is given as an injection, just under the skin (called subcutaneous injection).
  • It is injected into the abdomen (tummy area), on the right or left side of your stomach – about 5 cm away from your belly button. Do not inject enoxaparin into the muscle, as this can cause a painful bruise. 
Injection technique
  • Wash and dry your hands.
  • Prepare the exact dose. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to measure your dose. You may need to use all of the syringe, or discard some first. If you use all of the syringe, do push out the little air bubble before injecting. It helps push the medicine into the body so it will not leak out. 
  • Sit or lie down so you can see your tummy.
  • Clean an injection site using an alcohol swab and let dry.
  • Remove the needle cap by pulling it straight off the syringe.
  • Hold the syringe like a pencil in your writing hand.
  • With your other hand, pinch an inch of the clean skin to make a fold in the skin.
  • Put the full length of the needle straight down at a 90 degree angle into the top of the fold of skin. 
  • Press the plunger with your thumb until the syringe is empty. 
  • Pull the needle straight out and release the skin fold.
  • To prevent bruising, do not rub the injection site.
  • Point the needle away from you, and push down on the plunger to make the safety shield cover the needle.
  • Change injection sites each time to stop the skin from hardening.
  • Inject your enoxaparin dose at the same time each day.   
  • If you miss a dose, inject it as soon as you remember, if it is on the same day. If it is the next day, skip the missed dose and inject your normal dose. Do not double the dose. Contact your doctor if you miss 2 or more doses in a row.
  • Keep your enoxaparin syringes at room temperature; do not put them in the fridge or freezer.
  • Put used syringes in a sealable hard plastic or metal container (such as empty detergent bottle). You can take the container to your local pharmacy to be disposed of safely. Do not reuse syringes.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, enoxaparin can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. 

Side effects What should I do?
  • You can bleed easily
  • Use a soft toothbrush, waxed dental floss, electric razor; avoid sharp objects and fall risks (such as climbing a ladder)
  • Pain or bruising at the injection site 
  • Call your doctor if there is redness, swelling, burning, or pain where you injected enoxaparin
  • Signs of internal bleeding such as dark urine (wee), black stools (poo), bad headaches, confusion, vision changes, dizziness, fainting, weakness or numbness
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rashes, itching, blisters, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing
 
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116

Interactions

Enoxaparin should not be used with many other medications and herbal supplements so always check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

Clexane Medsafe Consumer Information (NZ)

References

Low molecular weight heparin use in primary care BPAC, November 2009
Enoxaparin Institute of Safe Medication Practice (ISMP)

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 04 Nov 2016