How to Inject Clexane

Posted by on Jun 18, 2011 in Featured, Medical, Miscarriage | 14 comments

How to Inject Clexane

What is Clexane?

Clexane is an injectable form of heparin – an anticoagulant prescribed to people with antiphospholipid syndrome, Hughes Syndrome, clotting issues. It prevents clots and thins the blood slightly, helping to prevent some forms of miscarriage.

If you are prescribed Clexane, you will need to inject it just under the skin (subcutaneously). There are a number of things that can help you do this with minimal trouble or discomfort.

 

What you will need

Clexane injection

Water

Cottonwool

A ‘sharps’ box for the used injections.

 

Preparation for the injection

  • Choose a spot to inject. The thigh or the stomach are recommended, but I’d suggest injecting into the skin of your stomach.  Although it seems a little gruesome injecting yourself in the stomach when you’re pregnant, it does hurt a lot less than the thigh.    If you are injecting in the stomach, around (but not too close to) the belly-button is a good spot.
  • Clean the area with water & cottonwool. Most people would recommend surgical spirits beforehand, but this is actually not a good idea.  The alcohol strips the needle of the coating that helps it slide easily through the skin.  If you use water to clean the area (or inject after a shower), the needle will hurt less, and cause less bruising to the skin.  Surgical spirits also sometimes causes the skin to harden slightly, or get a rash.

 

Injecting the Clexane

  • Hold the injection like a dart, between your forefinger and your thumb.
  • With the other hand, pull some skin up (the manufacturers suggest pinching skin between your fingers, but I find that if you have fat on your belly, it’s harder to pinch the skin than it is to just pull some up – choose whichever works best for you).
  • With the dart-hold, insert the needle into the skin.   Note – some areas are more sensitive than others.  If you find the injection extremely painful, it’s sometimes easier on you to just choose another spot (don’t forget to clean it first).
  • Now you can change the hold position to the ‘standard’ injection hold (that makes it easier to push the plunger down).  Before you start pushing the liquid into yourself, pull the plunger very lightly, checking for blood.  If you see blood, you have accidentally nicked a vein, you will need to readjust the needle so that you’re out of the vein.  This doesn’t happen often, and you will survive (expect a big bruise!).  If you’re concerned, check in with the doctor or hospital staff.
  • Inject the Clexane, pushing down slowly on the plunger.  The speed doesn’t really matter, but I find that injecting fast hurts more sometimes.  Inject until the air bubble goes to the needle.  I’ve read that the air helps prevent bruising by pushing the Clexane deeper under the skin, but to be honest, I haven’t found any difference.  I am a bit freaked out by the air, to be honest.
  • Remove the needle carefully, replace the lid of the needle firmly (make sure it is straight so that the needle doesn’t penetrate the plastic and stab you), and then push the plunger down some more – this triggers a safety mechanism that spring-loads a plastic needle protection after use.
  • Take the empty injections to the nearest pharmacy/drugstore/hospital so that they can dispose of them safely.

 

Tips for Injecting Clexane

  • DO NOT USE ICE to numb the skin. The cold makes the skin tighter, which makes it harder to inject. Also, you can give yourself freezer burn.
  • If you have the old style of injection (it is yellow, not white), you can warm the liquid up slightly by holding the injection in your armpit or thighs.
  • If your skin is ‘resisting’ or feels tough so the needle is not easy to push through, breathe slowly and visualize some soft butter, with a warm knife sliding through it.  I do this, saying to myself ‘warm knife through butter’, and I swear by it.
  • There’s a bubble of air in your injection.  This is meant to be like that.  It is used to push all the Clexane out of the needles, and apparently to reduce bruising.
  • If you think happy thoughts while you’re injecting, the injection will hurt less. (It distracts your brain from the anticipation of pain).

 

Warnings

Make sure to tell your doctor before using Clexane if you have, (or ever had) any of the following medical conditions:

  • major blood disorders
  • any types of stroke
  • stomach or bowel problems such as ulcers or ulcerative colitis
  • bacterial infections in your heart

Alert your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms (they may be signs of allergy)

  • swelling of the face, lips or tongue,
  • wheezing or troubled breathing,
  • skin rash, itching hives, blisters or peeling skin.

 

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14 Comments

  1. You don’t need to aspirate before administering the clexane as stated here because it is a subcutaneous injection, so you are injecting into tissue, which has a very poor blood supply.

  2. Hi,

    I started taking clexane injections after I missed my period for more than a week. I hope everything is alright.

    I had three miscarriages before and i hope this one I will be able to take to full-term.

    I am really worried though thatI didn’t start the injection staright awsy ehen I missed my periods.

    Thsnks

    • Hi Monika

      Thanks for checking in. This is a very common concern for a lot of people.

      Don’t worry about not having started the Clexane immediately.. With my son (my 8th pregnancy), who is now 4yo, I only started the Clexane at about 5 weeks pregnant too. The Clexane works pretty fast to thin the blood, so I am sure you and the baby are fine. Is this the first pregnancy that you are using the Clexane, and how far along are you now?

      Wishing you a successful pregnancy!

  3. I want to ask that I had four consecutive pregnancies and all were iuds…now I am 9weeks pregnant and hopeless.,doctor prescribed Clexaine on daily basis….should I continue..am quite dishearted.,..my pregnancy news makes me sad instead of making me happy…need your advice…or injection Gravibivon….i even did bed rest but of no use..,THE UNFORTUNATE

    • Anum, the decision to continue is yours, but if you are thinking about quitting because of fear around the injection, I want to encourage you to give it a good try. Diagnoses can be scary – it’s hard to come to terms with the idea that your body is not working 100%.
      The thought of injecting yourself daily is scary, and Clexane can be sore sometimes (although it is not ALWAYS sore).
      This journey can break you or make you stronger. One of the things that I have found in myself is that I am fierce! I really didn’t have it in me before all this, but whether you have your baby or not, it is worth trying. You will change – it is impossible to go through this and be the same as you were before, but you can choose whether you will become stronger, or if you’ll let the fear beat you down.

      Back to the Clexane, though – the good thing about being prescribed Clexane is that you are one step closer to having a solution. You are pregnant now, and by taking the medication, you can see if it helps you. Can you imagine that in a few weeks you will be in the second trimester if the Clexane works, and all the yucky (but comforting) symptoms of the first trimester will be over.

      XX Good luck, and here’s hoping that your decision will make you happier. XX

  4. im so upset of my miscarriage happened earlier my 14 weeks,may doctor advise me to do the clexane injection but i never follow because me and my hubby afraid of doing injection we think that it might harm our baby..by reading this blog really clexane will help a lot of having blood disorder?doctor says daily injection till birth so really it safe??so by my next pregnancy i have to do it

    • I am sorry for your loss, Kaye.

      The reason for the clexane is to stop little clots from forming in your blood, because pregnancy thickens a person’s blood naturally, and some of us have slightly thicker blood already, so having it even thicker prevents the blood from delivering nutrients to the baby.

      It is incredibly important to have a trusting relationship with your doctor when you are trying to conceive – if you are not sure of why he or she is prescribing a medication, don’t leave the office until you understand why, and feel confident following through. I actually had to do the injection throughout the pregnancy and for a little bit after the birth of my son, to make sure my blood didn’t clot and hurt me. The drug itself (heparin) doesn’t cross the placenta to get to the baby.

      I hope this information helped you, and that your next pregnancy is a positive and peaceful one. XX

  5. hi i was wondering if injecting the same clexane needle twice is dangerous?x

    • Hi Chantelle
      I’m sorry for only replying now – been filtering through lots of spam!
      I am not sure exactly what you’re asking, because the Clexane is usually prepackaged, so you would have the right dosage per injection (hopefully!!). When you use a needle, it becomes a little blunter, but this shouldn’t make much of a difference the second time (I sometimes have to reposition the needle if I chose a spot that is too sore). If you are talking about doubling the dose of Clexane, yes, that is dangerous, because it could lead to over-thinning of the blood, and you would have to go to a doctor to get a coagulant.

      If you are just wondering if you can use a needle more than once, yes, but it is dangerous to share needles.
      Have I answered your question?
      Good luck!

  6. I started using Clexane 0.2 after few weeks of my pregnancy (everyday one jab). Begging I made a big mess on my belly, bruises where so bad, that my hubby wanted me to stop the injections!! But now I’m getting use to the injections and no serious bruises :) I am 16 weeks now and my belly getting bigger, so I don’t really feel comfortable to inject on my belly and keep thinking I may hurt my baby. Since I may have to carry on the injections through the whole pregnancy, can I do the jabs on my tight? Could you please advise which part of my tight is a better place to do the injections?
    And do you have any idea if these injections may cause bleeding problems during my labor, considering that I would go for C-section?

    • Hi Hanan

      Thanks so much for posting here.
      You won’t hurt the baby if you pull the skin away from the muscle. You only need to get the injection under the skin. That said, you are able to inject it in your thigh if it makes you feel too anxious to inject in your stomach area. If you sit down and bend your legs, wherever it is comfortable for you to reach – usually mid thigh, in the front. I will warn you, though, that I found this area to hurt more than in the tummy area. Figure out what works for you. Also, if you inject your thigh, be careful to not inject your muscle – Clexane is meant for just under the skin.

      About the bleeding during pregnancy, I know many doctors will push for a c-section when there is a high risk pregnancy. That said, I’m not a doctor, so i can’t advise you on the medical diagnosis. If you feel strongly about having a natural birth, talk to your doctor and make sure they understand the your priorities and that they are not simply making the easier decision out of habit. Doctors like to control the factors in delivery, and that is more easily done with a c-section, even when it is not entirely necessary.

      Wishing you well for the rest of your pregnancy!

  7. So much easier to understand your instructions that it was my specialists! In a strange sort of way I’m actually looking forward to getting started with the jabs tomorrow now that I know how to do them properly!

    • :) I know, right – you’d think the specialists would have it waxed, but they don’t actually inject themselves :) I’m thrilled you found it useful – Let me know how it goes. When I’m pregnant again and have to start the Clexane again, I’ll do a video too :)

  8. I want to send you an award for most helpful internet wtrier.

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