Hirudin is initially used to treat cases of venous thrombosis.
What is Hirudin?
Hirudin is a protein substance produced by the salivary glands of medicinal leeches that have a blood anticoagulant property (i.e. Prevent the formation of blood clots by slowing down the blood coagulation process). Hirudin is able to inhibit thrombin, which is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolytic transformation of fibrinogen into fibrin during blood clotting.
How should Hirudin be taken?
Similarly to heparin, hirudin is administered intravenously or subcutaneously via injection and near the adipose tissue. It is not injected intramuscularly because in vascularized areas, it frequently causes bruising.
Side effects associated with Hirudin
The most frequent side effect of hirudine (taken in high doses) is an increased predisposition to severe bleeding. Other side effects that may occur include bruising and nosebleeds.
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Hirudin
There are contraindications to the use of hirudin in cases of hemorrhagic syndromes and hypersensitivity to the active substance. It is important to pay close attention to the use of this drug during menstruation, in the presence of liver disease, bowel and stomach disease, hypertension, coagulation disorders and blood disorders. It is also important to remember that the use of hirudin with other blood thinner drugs or supplements (such as aspirin or Ginkgo biloba extracts) may increase the action of hirudin and consequently increase the risk of bleeding.