Heparin - Mortal enemy of emboli

  • natural anticoagulant (stops blood from clotting) found primarily in liver, lung, and intestine
  • commercially extracted from the internal organs of cows and pigs (this enticing mix is also known as offal), although a recombinant (mass produced by bacteria) bioheparin is in development
  • is the strongest organic acid present in the body (take that, uric acid!)
  • can only be given by injection since it is broken down by the stomach and is poorly absorbed via the intestine
  • has few side effects, the only big concern is hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding) in the event of overdose
Kalant H, Grant D, and Mitchell J. Principles of Medical Pharmacology 7th ed. Toronto: Saunders Canada, 2006.

0 chemically inspired comments: