Argatroban is used to prevent the formation of clots that may occur while taking coagulant drugs such as heparin. It belongs to a class of drugs known as direct thrombin inhibitors, which work, as the name suggests, by inhibiting thrombin, a chief factor in the formation of clots. Common side effects associated with argatroban include nausea, diarrhea, headache and bleeding around the IV needle site.
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Argatroban is used in several clinical settings, with its principal function to prevent the formation of clots, as it is clots that can result in potentially fatal conditions such as heart attack or stroke. Patients who are undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may be given argatroban to prevent clots forming as the stent is put in place. Argatroban may also be used to prevent or treat clots resulting from heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Argatroban is used because it is a direct thrombin inhibitor, meaning that it disrupts the actions of thrombin, a key substance needed for the formation of clots. Argatroban may also be used for purposes not listed in this guide, at the discretion of the prescriber.
- Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia
- Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Argatroban, as with any other medicine, does not follow any fixed dose. There are, of course, recommended dosage regimens, but these regimens have exceptions. Patients may present with complicating factors such as age, co-administration of other medicines, and the presence of disease. Dosage may change at the discretion of the prescriber. Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia
- 2 mcg/kg/min to be administered as a continuous IV infusion. The infusion rate should not exceed 10 mcg/kg/min.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
- 25 mcg/kg/min with a bolus of 350 mcg/kg/min to be administered over 3-5 minutes.
Argatroban Side Effects
Argatroban, as with many medicines, is associated with its own set of side effects, many of which are listed below, though this should not be taken to be a complete list. If patients experience any severe side effects while taking argatroban, they are advised to consult their doctor at the first opportunity. Common side effects include:
- Mild Bleeding
- Rash at IV Site
Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Disrupted Heartbeat
- Allergic Reaction
- Excessive Bleeding
- Black, tarry stools
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of Breath
Argatroban is associated with numerous clinically relevant drug interactions, many of which are listed below, though this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Patients are advised to inform their doctor of any medication they are currently taking, as this may interact with the function of argatroban. Drugs that interact with argatroban include: