What is tinzaparin?
Tinzaparin is a blood thinner (anticoagulant). It works by changing the way blood normally clots together. It helps to prevent unwanted blood clots or existing blood clots from getting bigger.
Tinzaparin comes as a clear liquid for injection.
What to expect before going home
- You will be given information that helps to explain why your child is taking tinzaparin.
- The nurse or pharmacist will teach you how to give your child the tinzaparin needles. We will help you be able to give your child’s tinzaparin needles by yourself before you go home.
- You will be given prescriptions for tinzaparin.
- You will be given prescriptions for the right size of syringes. They are called insulin syringes and come in sizes of 30 units, 50 units, and 100 units.
- We will tell the medical team of your child’s discharge date as soon as it is known so that they can come to see you. If it is not possible for them to see you (if your child is discharged on a weekend) they will call you in the following week.
- The medical team will make sure that you know about blood work appointments.
How long will your child need to take tinzaparin?
Your child’s thrombosis team will decide how long your child needs to take tinzaparin depending on the reason for your child’s treatment.
To decide when to stop your child’s treatment, the doctor may do follow-up imaging tests, such as MRI, CT scan, Echocardiogram, or Ultrasound. The medical team will arrange follow-up clinic appointments and call you with the dates and times.
Keeping track of blood work results
You will discuss where and when the blood work will be done with the medical team.
When should you call your child’s medical or thrombosis team?
Call the medical or thrombosis team if your child:
hits their head or has a fall
has bruises that are large or cannot be explained
has a nose bleed that is hard to stop
has bowel movements that are black or red
has new bleeding from gums when brushing the teeth
will be having any medical or dental procedures or surgeries
While your child is taking tinzaparin
Your child may bleed and bruise more easily.
Please check with the medical team about what activities your child is allowed. Contact sports are not recommended.
Your child may need to wear a Medic Alert bracelet if on this medication for a long time. You can discuss this with the thrombosis nurse.
You do not need to store tinzaparin in the fridge. You can keep it at room temperature (less than 25°C). Once opened, the bottle can be used for 30 days only. After 30 days, throw the bottle away, even if there is still medicine in it.
How much to give
Tinzaparin is available in several different strengths. The dosing information below applies to the 20,000 units/mL (2 mL) multidose vials.
Tinzaparin injections are given using an insulin syringe. It is important to remember that the volume is measured in “units” on an insulin syringe; one unit of insulin is not equal to one unit of tinzaparin.
1 unit on the insulin syringe = 200 units of tinzaparin.
Your child has been prescribed _______ units of tinzaparin each dose. This dose is equal to _______units on an insulin syringe.
Drawing up tinzaparin
Before giving your child tinzaparin, you first need to draw up the medicine from the bottle. Check the date on the medicine bottle to make sure it has not expired.
You will need:
- Tinzaparin bottle
- Insulin 30, 50, or 100 unit syringe (use only insulin syringes)
- You must use a new needle and syringe each time.
- Alcohol swab
- Cotton ball
To draw up tinzaparin:
- Wash your hands.
- Clean the rubber stopper on the medication bottle with an alcohol swab. Wait 30 seconds for the alcohol to dry.
- Remove the cap from the needle and syringe. Put the needle through the rubber stopper on the medication bottle.
- Turn the bottle upside down with the syringe in it. Ensure the tip of the needle is in the solution.
- Slowly pull down on the plunger of the syringe until you have a bit more than the required number of units. If you have trouble pulling out the medicine, inject a bit of air into the bottle, and then try again.
- Check the syringe for any air bubbles. Tap the syringe to make any air bubbles float to the top.
- Slowly push up on the plunger to the desired amount. If you have pushed out too much, pull back again on the syringe to the correct volume. Recheck for air bubbles.
- Lift off the medication bottle from the syringe. Be sure not to touch the exposed needle to any surfaces. It is now ready to give.
Where to inject tinzaparin
- Tinzaparin is injected into the fatty layer just below the skin. This is called the subcutaneous (SC) layer. Safe areas for injections are: thighs, upper arms, and abdomen. Do not use the buttocks.
- Thighs: Top front side and outer parts of the thigh. Do not use the inner thigh or back of the thigh. Divide the thigh into thirds; the injection site is in the middle third section.
- Upper arm: Fatty area on the side and back of the upper arm. Divide the upper arm into thirds; the injection site is in the middle third section.
- Abdomen: Inject at least 2 inches to the right, left or bottom of the belly button. Avoid areas near the waistband.
When giving your child the injection:
- Choose the injection spot. Clean the skin with soap and water (you do not need to use alcohol swab). Try to change injection sites with each injection you give. For example, inject into the left thigh in the morning and right thigh at night.
- Gently squeeze up a well-defined fold of skin and fat with the thumb and index finger.
- Hold the shaft of the syringe in a dart fashion, insert needle directly through the skin at a right angle (90-degree angle) quickly just into the fatty layer.
- Move hand into position to direct plunger. Do not move needle tip once it is inserted.
- Give drug slowly to reduce stinging, firmly push plunger down as far as it will go.
- Pull the needle out gently at the same angle you put it in. As you take out the needle, let go of the skin roll.
- Apply firm pressure with a cotton ball to the injection site for 3 to 5 minutes following each injection to reduce the chance of bruising. Do not rub the area as it may irritate the skin.
- Put the needle and syringe in a thick, plastic bottle or sharps container with a lid. This is for safety. When the container is full, bring it to your local pharmacy. They can safely dispose of it for you. Do not put it in your regular garbage.
Personal stories about the use of low molecular weight heparins
Two families share their experiences with using low molecular weight heparins. This video will help to answer any questions you may have if you or someone you know will be taking this medication.
Tinzaparin is a blood thinner (anticoagulant)
Tinzaparin helps prevent unwanted blood clots or existing blood clots from getting bigger
It is given for as long as your child needs it
It can be injected into the thigh, upper arm, and abdomen
You will be given prescriptions for the right size of syringes. They are called insulin syringes and come in sizes of 30 units, 50 units, and 100 units.
Tinzaparin does not require refrigeration and can be kept at room temperature
- Once opened, the bottle can be used for 30 days only
1 unit on the insulin syringe = 200 units of tinzaparin