Blood Home > Argatroban Warnings and Precautions

If you are going to receive argatroban, make sure your healthcare provider knows about your medical history and whether you have any type of bleeding disorder or allergies. This medicine can cause potentially life-threatening bleeding problems and should be used with caution in people who have liver disease. Other safety precautions for argatroban involve warnings for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving argatroban if you have:
  • A bleeding disorder (not a clotting disorder)
  • Intestinal or stomach ulcers or bleeding
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • An aneurism
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, liver failure, or cirrhosis
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Argatroban

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • As with all "blood thinners," most of the serious side effects of argatroban are related to bleeding, especially internal bleeding that can be fatal. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs of bleeding, such as:
    • Easy bruising
    • Cuts or scrapes that are slow to stop bleeding
    • Black, tarry stools; bright red blood in the stool; or vomiting of blood (signs of gastrointestinal bleeding)
    • Signs of a bleeding in the brain, such as vision or speech changes, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or a severe headache.
  • Argatroban must be used cautiously in people with liver disease. More frequent monitoring and dosage adjustments are usually necessary. If your liver is not functioning properly, high levels of the drug could accumulate, increasing the risk of dangerous bleeding.
In addition, people with liver disease are naturally at a higher risk for bleeding, even without anticoagulant medications. Also, after stopping argatroban, it will take longer for the drug to stop working in people with liver disease.
  • It is not known if argatroban passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Argatroban and Breastfeeding).
  • Argatroban is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Argatroban and Pregnancy).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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