|CC courtesy of Hanu Amir, Flickr|
Bruising From ClexaneI caught sight of myself in the mirror and was shocked at what I saw and was surprised that I couldn't feel it. I looked down and my lower stomach was black and blue, when I touched it I recoiled in pain. These are some of the side effects of my daily injections. I have to take 120mg (80ml) of injectable heparin (Clexane/Enoxaparin) twice a day (12 hours apart).
What Is Clexane?
The job of clexane (injectable heparin) is to prevent blood clots forming and I'm taking this at the moment to first of all help keep me alive by stabilizing my current clots and to reduce my platelet count to reduce my risk of clotting. The reason I'm black and blue is two fold: first of all it's a side effect (I'll get to those in a mo) and second of all we're running out of places to stick them (my partner in crime does the injections for me).
I thought it might be useful to give you all a run down of the side effects that I'm experiencing with this low weight heparin:
- Bleeding - kind of obvious there
- Pain and irritation at the injection site - yep, if you nick a nerve, a blood vessel or even push the fluid in too quickly it can hurt like a monkey
- Blood clots which can form a lump at the site - this normally happens if I accidently knock the site soon after injecting and they become very tender so be careful!
- Breakdown of skin cells - at the moment I've got a weird thing with my feet at the moment where the skin is breaking down too quickly and the skin on my face is flakey
- Hair loss - not too bad but related to the above symptom
- Heavier periods for women - less ability to clot properly
- Decrease in the number of platelets - this is what I need but can be bad for some people
- Necrosis (cell death) at the site - I haven't got this just some severe bruising
- Blood clots in the spinal cord - only really happens if you are having a spinal or epidural anesthesia so you'll be hospitalized anyway
- Osteoporosis - a possibly side effect that can happen after long-term dosages which is slightly worrying as they don't say how long and I've already been on this for three months now.
A Little Something For the Bruising
The bruising from Clexane can be quite severe and painful. Since going back to my doctor about the side effects she recommended trying arnica either in pills or cream form. I've tried both but I found the cream to be more effective as it also provides a soothing feeling as well; the pills are better suited to bruise prevention rather than removal.
So there we are. A lovely list for all you clexane lovers - can you hear the sarcasm? - who might be a little worried about some side effects. If I've missed any out leave a note in the comments.