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                                         Information @ a Glance
  • Heparinic acid, or heparin, is highly acidic mucopolysaccharide formed of equal parts of sulfated D-glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid with sulfaminic bridges.

  • Heparin is a naturally occurring anticoagulant produced by basophils and mast cells.
  • Heparin is one of the oldest drugs currently still in widespread clinical use.
  • Heparin unit the quantity of heparin required to keep 1 mL of cat's blood fluid for 24 hours at 0°C; it is equivalent approximately to 0.002 mg of pure heparin.
  • Heparin acts as an anticoagulant, preventing the formation of clots and extension of existing clots within the blood.


  • Heparin may be derived from porcine intestinal mucosa or bovine intestinal or lung tissue in an extraction process. Crude heparin is obtained during the extraction phase of the intestinal mucosa, involving a proteolytic treatment of the tissue followed by extraction and complexing with ion pairing reagents. The crude heparin is subjected to fractional precipitation, purification, and chemical treatment to obtain injectable heparin.


  • Heparin is a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan widely used as an injectable anticoagulant.

  • Heparin is used to form an inner anticoagulant surface on various experimental and medical devices such as test tubes and renal dialysis machines.

  • Heparin and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are anticoagulant agents currently used in treatment of thrombotic disorders.

  • Heparin is used in blood transfusions to prevent the donor’s blood from coagulating prior to administration, as well as in animals at risk of thrombosis due to endotoxemia and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.


  • Platelet aggregation inhibitors and heparins dominate the market, accounting for approximately 60% and 30% of total antithrombotic agent sales respectively. The US market accounts for almost half of all global sales.
  • Market at over $3 billion for Market at over $3 billion for injectable injectable forms and growing 15% annually forms and growing 15% annually Estimate of peak sales for Exanta was $4 billion
  • The international heparin market is of a substantial size with worldwide sales exceeding $US3billion.


  • Heparin treatment has moved over the last 20 years through three generations from natural heparin, to low molecular weight heparins to synthetic heparin.
  • Heparin is indicated as adjunctive therapy in acute myocardial infarction to reduce the risk of thromboembolic complications, especially in high-risk  patients such as those with shock, congestive heart failure, prolonged arrhythmias, previous myocardial infarction, or history of venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

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