Blood-Thinner Heparin Linked to Serious Allergic Reactions
Baxter Healthcare Corporation, manufacturer of the injectable blood-thinning drug heparin, has temporarily stopped producing multiple-dose vials of the drug, after receiving reports of serious allergic reactions and low blood pressure in patients, according to a Press Release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA reports that four people have died after receiving heparin (although the relationship to the drug is unclear), and 350 other adverse reactions so far this year have included difficulty breathing, nausea, and rapidly falling blood pressure that can lead to life-threatening shock. Heparin is frequently used before certain types of surgery, including coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and in kidney patients before they undergo dialysis. FDA states that about half of the more than one million multiple-dose vials of heparin sold each month in the U.S. are manufactured by Baxter.