11-Dec-12 8:00 AM  CST

Heparin Label Change for May 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has recently announced that there is an important label change for Heparin containers and labels.  The label change will be for Heparin Lock Flush solution USP and for Heparin Sodium Injection USP to state the entire strength of the entire container of Heparin followed by how much of the drug is in 1 millimeter (mL).  The change will be a good one because it will do two things to help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians:  First, the change will hopefully cut down on medication errors and miscalculations.  Second, the change will eliminate the need for pharmacists and techs to calculate total amounts of heparin in products containing more than 1 mL. 
           
A special note on the change should be noted by health care professionals: 
  • A transition period will be in effect before and after the label change.  The official label change will take place on May 1st, 2013.  Pharmacy Technicians should separate the old and new heparin products with the label change to reflect ‘current’ and ‘revised’ supplies.  The ‘current’ supply should be used first and then the ‘revised’ batch may be used. 
  • Labeling the old and new batches of medication can cut down on serious medical error that can result in patient harm and/or death. 
Heparin, as you may recall, is used to help prevent blood clots in patients that are more susceptible to forming blood clots during various medical procedures and the drug can be used to prevent blood clots in patients that have particular medical conditions.  Heparin can also stop the growth of clots in already formed blood clots and keep clots from forming in catheters which are left in veins for a long period of time.
 
 
Sources: 
1.  Drugs.com Reports.  “Heparin:  Drug Safety Communication:  Important Change To Heparin Container Labels To Clearly State The Total Drug Strength.” Drugs.com.  Web.  6 Dec 2012. 
 
2.  FDA Reports.  “FDA Drug Safety Communication:  Important Change To Heparin Container Labels To Clearly State The Total Drug Strength.”  FDA.  Web.  6 Dec    2012.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
 
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
 
Source: NPTAnews  
http://www.pharmacytechnician.org

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