Argatroban is licensed for the prevention and treatment of blood clots in people who have heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). It is also approved to help thin the blood in certain people who are undergoing angioplasty procedures. This medicine comes as an intravenous (IV) injection that is given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting. Potential side effects include bleeding, diarrhea, and chest pain.
What Is Argatroban?
Argatroban is a prescription medication approved to prevent and treat blood clots in people with a condition known as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). It is also approved for use as an anticoagulant in people who are undergoing angioplasty procedures and have HIT or are at risk for HIT.
HIT is a potentially dangerous reaction that sometimes occurs due to heparin or heparin-like medications.
Argatroban is made by a few different manufacturers, including GlaxoSmithKline and Sandoz, Inc.
How Does Argatroban Work?
This medication is a direct thrombin inhibitor. It works by inhibiting the actions of thrombin, a naturally occurring protein in the body. Thrombin encourages clot formation in several different ways. By inhibiting thrombin, argatroban helps to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Like other "blood thinners," argatroban does not break down clots. Instead, it slows down clot formation, giving the body a chance to break down the clots naturally.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Argatroban [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2009 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 4, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click