Innohep is approved to treat blood clots that are causing symptoms, specifically blood clots deep in the veins of the body (deep vein thrombosis). It may only be used when combined with warfarin, an anticoagulant that takes a little longer to start working. Essentially, Innohep is used to slow down the formation of blood clots while warfarin begins to work.
What Is Innohep Used For?Innohep® (tinzaparin sodium) is an injectable anticoagulant medication. It is given as an injection just below the skin (subcutaneously) once a day. It is approved for treating blood clots.
Specifically, Innohep is used to treat blood clots deep in the veins of the body, known medically as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT clots typically occur in the legs or hips. The condition can be especially dangerous if the clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, where it may cause a pulmonary embolism (PE).
Notably, Innohep is approved only to treat symptomatic DVT; in other words, it is not approved to treat DVT blood clots that are not causing any symptoms.
Innohep is approved to treat DVT with or without PE, and is approved only for use in combination with warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), an oral anticoagulant. Innohep begins working right away, while warfarin does not. In fact, in the period of time when a person first begins taking warfarin, the drug may actually increase the risk of clots for a short time.
Therefore, an injectable anticoagulant (like Innohep) is usually given along with warfarin. Innohep prevents clots while warfarin begins working. Innohep can be stopped once blood tests show that warfarin is working appropriately.
Innohep is a low-molecular-weight heparin medication. Like heparin, it works to prevent either the formation of clots or the growth of existing clots by binding to an enzyme in the body known as antithrombin III, accelerating its activity. Since antithrombin III inhibits two clotting factors (factors Xa and IIa), Innohep effectively inhibits these two clotting factors as well, which helps to reduce clot formation.
Like other "blood thinners," Innohep does not break down clots. Instead, it slows down clot formation, giving the body a chance to break down the clots naturally.