BT_PO 1.118 Describe the pharmacology of heparin and low molecular weight heparins including their side-effects

T/F All modern drugs now are produced by recombinant DNA technology.

Actually Heparin is still made from mammalian sources. Beginning in the 1940s heparin was manufactured from bovine lung and pig intestinal mucosa. Because of the BSE crisis, bovine heparin was voluntarily removed. This meant that most of the world’s supply of heparin came from pigs intestines from slaughterhouses in China.

In 2007 there was a crisis in which heparin was adulterated, which illustrated the problem of relying on a single source for a drug. There is now a suggestion that bovine heparin should be re-introduced into clinical practice.



T/F Both fractionated and unfractionated heparin require anti-thrombin as a cofactor

T/F Heparin exhibits a 4 fold variation in sensitivity and 3 fold variation in its rate of metabolism between patients

T/F The half life of heparin is 1-2 hours and varies directly with the total dose

T/F Heparin induced thrombocytopaenia is the result of a non-specific immune reaction

T/F Heparin is cleared from the circulation by hepatic mechanisms alone

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