Taking Enoxaparin After Cardiac Events and Understanding Its Effects

Enoxaparin After Cardiac Events

Enoxaparin is also approved to prevent various complications after certain "cardiac events" (the medical term for heart-related occurrences). In particular, enoxaparin (when combined with aspirin) has been shown to reduce the risk of death, heart attacks, or recurrent angina (chest pain) in people who have recently had a bout of unstable angina or non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. Unstable angina is a type of chest pain that often signals that a heart attack is imminent, and non-Q-wave myocardial infarction is a type of mild heart attack.
 
Enoxaparin (when combined with aspirin) is also approved to reduce the risk of death and recurrent heart attacks in people who have just had a "full-blown" heart attack, known medically as an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Specifically, enoxaparin is approved for use in people who are receiving thrombolytics (medications given to actively break down the clots, commonly known as "clot busters"). Such medications include:
 
  • Alteplase (Activase®)
  • Reteplase (Retavase®)
  • Streptokinase (Streptase®)
  • Tenecteplase (TNKase®).
     

How Does Enoxaparin Work?

Enoxaparin is a low molecular weight heparin medication. Like heparin, enoxaparin works to prevent the formation of clots (or the growth of existing clots) by binding to an enzyme in the body known as antithrombin III. In doing so, enoxaparin accelerates the activity of antithrombin III. Because antithrombin III inhibits two clotting factors (known as factor Xa and IIa), enoxaparin effectively inhibits these two clotting factors as well. This action helps to reduce clot formation.
 
Like other "blood thinners," enoxaparin does not break down clots. Instead, it slows down clot formation, giving the body a chance to break down the clots naturally.
 
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