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Medication Description: Heparinum

HEPARIN (Heparinum).

Synonyms: Liquaemin, Pularin, Thromboliquine, Vetren, etc.

Heparin is an acid mucopolysaccharide consisting of glucuronic acid residues and glucosamine esterified with sulfuric acid.

The relative molecular weight is about 16,000.

It is produced in humans and animals by basophilic (fat) cells.

It is found in the largest amounts in the liver and lungs, and less in skeletal muscle, spleen, and heart muscle. Harvested from the lungs of cattle. For medical use, it is produced in the form of sodium salt - an amorphous white powder with a yellowish tint, odorless, soluble in water and isotonic sodium chloride solution; pH of 1% aqueous solution 6, 0 - 7, 5.

Heparin activity is determined by a biological method according to its ability to lengthen the clotting time of blood plasma; expressed in units of action (ED), 1 mg of the international standard heparin contains 130 ED (1 ED = 0.0077 mg). Practically, the drug is available with an activity of at least 120 IU in 1 mg.

Heparin Solution for Injection is available with an activity of 5,000; 10 000 and 20 000 IU in 1 ml.

Heparin is a natural anticoagulant factor. Together with fibrinolysin, it is part of the physiological anti-clotting system.

It refers to anticoagulants of direct action, i.e., directly affecting the coagulation factors that are in the blood (XII, XI, X, IX, VII and II). It also blocks the biosynthesis of thrombin; reduces platelet aggregation. The anticoagulant effect of heparin is manifested in vitro and in vivo.

Heparin has not only an anticoagulant effect, but inhibits the activity of hyaluronidase, activates to some extent the fibrinolytic properties of blood, improves coronary blood flow.

The introduction of heparin into the body is accompanied by a certain decrease in the content of cholesterol and β-lipoproteins in the blood serum. It has an enlightening effect on lipemic plasma. The lipid-lowering effect of heparin is mainly associated with an increase in the activity of lipoprotein lipase, which is involved in the removal of chylomicrons from the blood [See Hypolipoproteinemic (anti-sclerotic) agents.].

Because of the risk of bleeding, heparin as a cholesterol-lowering drug, however, does not apply.

There is evidence of the presence of immunosuppressive properties of heparin, which gives grounds for its possible use in certain autoimmune diseases (glomerulonephritis, hemolytic anemia, etc.), as well as to prevent rejection crises in a human kidney transplant. One of the mechanisms of the immunosuppressive effect is, apparently, the suppression of the cooperative interaction of T and B cells (see Preparations that correct the processes of immunity). The anticoagulant effect of heparin occurs when it is introduced into a vein, muscle, and under the skin.

Heparin acts quickly, but relatively briefly.