The nurse is administering subcutaneous heparin to a client on a med-surg unit. Which of the following does the nurse know to be a side effect of heparin?


• Heparin is an anticoagulant drug that inhibits the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin. Heparin can cause a decreased platelet count, known as thrombocytopenia, which increases bleeding risk.

• Other adverse reactions/side effects may include rashes, urticaria (itching), anemia, fever, and alopecia and osteoporosis (both with long term use).

• Incorrect: Leukopenia is a decrease in white blood cells and is not usually not associated with heparin.
• Incorrect: Diarrhea and tinnitus are not associated with heparin use.

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!