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Med Clin North Am. 1994 May;78(3):733-43.

Low-molecular-weight heparin.

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Medical Department, Sandoz AG, N├╝rnberg, Germany.


Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) are mixtures of heparin molecules in the range of 3000 to 10,000 daltons. As LMWHs of various manufacturers are all produced differently, they are not comparable to each other and are therefore considered to be individual products with different pharmacologic and clinical properties. All these agents have some common characteristics, however, such as a higher availability after subcutaneous administration and a longer biologic half-life. Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated that LMWHs are highly effective and safe for postsurgical prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT); therefore, the LMWHs that are commercially available so far, are mainly approved in this indication. LMWHs are also effective in the prophylaxis of DVT in medical indications, as well as for the treatment of established DVT.

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