Apotex pharmaceutical company has recalled two batches of Enoxaparin sodium injection, a blood-thinning drug used to treat Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). According to the company, the packs of the drug were recalled due to an error of packaging. The company says that the syringes would have caused inaccurate administration of the dosage due to the packaging error. The company explained on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website that the error was discovered during an investigation into a complaint filed by a customer. The recalled drugs would have led to patients getting either a lower or higher dosage than intended. Due to the anomaly, a patient would have gotten a 2 mg dose instead of 2.5mg or a high amount of 3.75mg instead of 3mgs, which would have had far reaching implications in patients.
The company indicated that a higher than usual dosage of the injection could lead to bleeding conditions, while lower dosages could lead to blood clotting issues. Apotex appealed to those who had purchased the drug to immediately get in touch with their pharmacy or their health care providers for the right advice but should not stop the treatment. Customers were further advised to return the recalled drugs to the company.
Enoxaparin is a blood-thinning drug that functions by preventing the formation of blood clots. Clots of blood in the legs or other body parts can cause complications or even fatalities if the clots get to the lungs. Besides being a prophylaxis drug, Enoxaparin is also administered to bedridden patients or those who have undergone surgery. It is also known to prevent heart attack complications and chest pains when used alongside aspirin.
The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) says that patients should adhere to the exact prescription of Enoxaparin and seek clarification from a pharmacist or their doctors for anything that is not clear. NLM further adds that patients should not inject themselves with less or more than what is recommended by their doctor and should also not exceed the prescribed frequency indicated by their doctor. NLM advises patients not to discontinue the drug use without their doctor's advice.
Recalling the drug has elicited a lot of curiosity about DVT. Let us take a look at some facts about DVT.
DVT is a disease caused by a blood clot formed in the body's deep veins, mainly on one of the legs. The clots, if not well managed, can be dangerous and potentially fatal.
What Causes DVT
The primary cause of DVT is blood clots that prevent blood from circulating in your body correctly. Blood can clot in the veins due to various reasons such as;
Injuries: they can cause blood vessels in your body to develop thin walls that can prevent proper blood circulation.
Surgery: blood vessels can sometimes get damaged during surgery, which can cause clots of blood to develop in your body. After surgery, patients are given bed rest, which further increases blood clotting chances if the patient does not walk around.
Sitting for long can cause blood to collect in the lower parts of the body, especially on the legs, slowing down the flow of blood, leading to the development of clots. Some drugs can increase your chances of developing blood clots; thus, it is essential to discuss your medication with your doctor, especially if you have underlying conditions.
What Are the Symptoms of DVT?
Though DVT does not always show symptoms, some signs to look out for include;
Unexplained swelling on either side of the leg, foot, or ankle
Cramping pain that mostly starts at the calf
Unusually severe aches on the ankle or foot
A patch of skin that feels warmer than the skin of the surrounding area
Skin patches that appear pale, bluish, or reddish
Treatment of DVT
The treatment of DVT mainly focuses on preventing the clots from increasing in size or numbers. It is also critical in preventing the clot from traveling to the lung, causing the patient to suffer from Pulmonary Embolism (PE). DVT can be managed in various ways such as;
Your doctor can prescribe blood-thinning drugs such as Enoxaparin, as discussed earlier in this article, to prevent your blood from clotting and keep the existing clots small. The drugs also minimize the chances of other clots developing. In severe cases, your doctor can recommend using thrombolytic drugs that are given intravenously to break down the blood clots.
If, for some reason, you are not able to take the thinning blood medication, your doctor can insert a filter in the vena cava to stop clots that might get to your lungs and cause PE. However, filters should be used with caution since they can also trigger the formation of clots. Once you can resume medication, the doctor should remove the filters.
They prevent swelling, especially on the legs, consequently lowering the risk of developing clots. Compression stockings are highly recommended for people who are at risk of getting DVT.
It is probably the last line of treatment, which is done when the blood clot is too big or if the clot is causing other health issues.
As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure; thus, the best way to avoid DVT is taking preventive measures to keep it at bay. A few changes in your lifestyle have great potential to lower the chances of you developing DVT. They include;
Losing some weight if you are overweight
Checking and controlling your blood pressure
Moving your legs if you have been sitting for long
Walking around when you are on bed rest
Making stopovers when having long drives to stretch your legs
When flying or riding in a bus or train, walk along the aisles to stretch
Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, which can inhibit blood circulation
Ensure you take blood thinners prescribed by your doctor if you are predisposed to DVT.