Overview | Schedule | Side Effects | Monitoring | Tips | Patient Assistance | References
Treatment Name: Enoxaparin (Lovenox®)
Enoxaparin (Lovenox®) is a Supportive Care Therapy to prevent or treat Blood Clots
How does enoxaparin (Lovenox®) work?
Enoxaparin is designed to help your body eliminate blood clots by blocking the action of a specific clotting factor known as factor Xa (“factor ten-A”). By blocking clotting factor Xa, your body breaks down the clot faster than it can build it. This is known as “anticoagulation treatment."
Goals of therapy:
Enoxaparin (Lovenox®) is taken to prevent or treat blood clots that are harmful to your body, for example, blood clots in the heart, lungs, or brain, or those that cause swelling or pain in the arms or legs.
Enoxaparin (Lovenox®) is available as a prescription only.
Common doses for treatment of blood clots:
- Enoxaparin 1 mg/kg subcutaneous (S.Q.) injection every 12 hours
- Enoxaparin 1.5 mg/kg S.Q. injection once daily
- In most cases, enoxaparin is given twice daily to treat blood clots, but may be given only once daily in some situations.
Common doses for prevention of blood clots (prophylaxis, or prophylactic therapy)
- Enoxaparin 40 mg S.Q. injection once daily
- Enoxaparin 30 mg S.Q. injection every 12 hours
Note: Individual doses may vary based upon your kidney function or your doctor's recommendation. Your doctor may choose to shorten or lengthen the amount of time you stay on therapy due to certain factors specific to your case based upon the perceived risks and benefits.
It can take a long time for your body to break down and get rid of a blood clot. Typically, patients with cancer who develop a blood clot are treated with enoxaparin for at least three months, and sometimes 6 months; however, enoxaparin therapy may be continued until the cancer is no longer present in the body or your doctor may recommend that it be given indefinitely.
In the prescribing label information (enoxaparin, Lovenox® package insert), the most commonly reported side effects from enoxaparin (Lovenox®) are shown here. The exact percentages of patients that will experience enoxaparin side effects is unknown because it has been used under widely varying patient populations in a variety of clinical trials:
Studies have shown that enoxaparin is unlikely to cause fetal harm and can be used in pregnant women, but only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
*These percentages are reported from data derived specifically from treating patients with cancer who were diagnosed with a blood clot and used enoxaparin.
Note: Mild bleeding may include bruising at the injection site. It is important to rotate injection sites to prevent excessive bruising. Acceptable injection sites include the thigh and the abdomen (generally not within 2 inches of the navel).
How often is monitoring needed?
Labs (blood tests) may be checked before treatment and periodically during treatment until stable. Labs often include: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), or basic metabolic panel (BMP), prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), plus any others your doctor may order. Low molecular weight heparin Anti-Xa (often referred to simply as “Anti ten-a”) levels may be checked in certain situations to monitor the blood activity level of enoxaparin.
How often is imaging needed?
Imaging is checked before treatment to diagnose the presence of a blood clot. Imaging may include: computerized tomography angiography (CT angiogram or CTA) scans, ventilation/perfusion (VQ) scan, or ultrasounds of arms or legs (also known as “venous dopplers”). Typically, if a blood clot is found on any of the above imaging techniques, it is not routinely repeated after starting therapy to see if the blood clot has gone away. Other imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scans may be checked during treatment if there is a concern for bleeding into certain organs or tissues.
How might blood test results/imaging affect treatment?
Depending upon the results, your doctor may advise to continue enoxaparin as planned, temporarily hold treatment until the side effect goes away, or switch to an alternative therapy.
The serum creatinine (Scr), obtained from the “CMP” or “BMP” above, is often used to help determine the dose of enoxaparin. Adequate kidney function is required to safely dose this medication and to avoid bleeding. If your kidneys suddenly stop working or you cannot make urine, enoxaparin may be unsafe to continue and an alternative medication may be prescribed (example: heparin).
Questions to Ask Your...
A better understanding of your treatments will allow you to ask more questions of your healthcare team. We then hope that with the answers, you will get better results and have greater satisfaction with your care. Because we know it's not always easy to know what questions to ask, we've tried to make it easy for you!
Choose any healthcare provider below to see common questions that you may want to ask of this person. Then, either print each list to bring to your clinic visits, or copy the questions and send them as a message to your healthcare team through your electronic medical record.
- You may bruise more easily and it may take longer to stop bleeding from simple cuts and scrapes. It is best to avoid rubbing the injection site after an enoxaparin injection as this may increase the risk of bruising
- When taken twice a day, try to take each of the doses as close to 12 hours apart as possible
- Enoxaparin may need to be temporarily held before and after any surgeries or procedures, or if your platelet count is too low to reduce the risk of bleeding
- Tell your doctor if you have a known bleeding disorder before you start treatment with enoxaparin
- When taken at home, enoxaparin is dispensed in pre-filled syringes. In some cases, the entire contents of the syringe is NOT injected. Be sure to ask you doctor, pharmacist, or nurse for instructions if a portion of the syringe contents needs to be discarded (squirted out) before injecting
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin as these medications can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with enoxaparin
- Switching from enoxaparin therapy to oral therapy with rivaroxaban or warfarin is common. If prescribed, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely transition from one medication to the other
- A pharmacist should ALWAYS review your medication list to ensure that drug interactions are prevented or managed appropriately
Patient Assistance & Co-payment Coverage
Patients under the age of 65 years, or those with private insurance plans:
If you have insurance and are looking for patient assistance or copay assistance for Enoxaparin (Lovenox®), we have provided links that may help.
Visit our Patient Assistance page and click the links to various patient assistance programs for help paying for Enoxaparin (Lovenox®). Depending upon your income, they may be able to help cover the cost of:
For Branded medications (may be available for generic medications too), check with the manufacturer to determine if a co-pay card is offered and if it could reduce your monthly copay.
- If you are uninsured, check with the manufacturer to determine if you are eligible to receive medication at no cost.
Medicare and Medicaid patients (Patients 65 years or older):
The clinic providing treatment will likely pre-authorize medications and immune therapies such as Enoxaparin (Lovenox®) and are the best source to help you understand drug cost.
- Ask to speak with a patient assistance technician or financial counselor at the clinic or hospital administering this therapy.