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Low-Molecular-Weight Heparins

An Overview for the Podiatric Physician

Robert G. Smith DPM, RPh, CPed1
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  • 1 Private practice, Shoe String Podiatry, 723 Lucerne Cir, Ormond Beach, FL 32174.
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Deep venous thrombosis is a common but underdiagnosed medical condition. The epidemiologic features, economic impact, morbidity, and mortality of venous thromboembolism make it imperative that the podiatric physician be familiar with its pathogenesis as well as its pharmacologic treatment. Medical literature rooted in clinical evidence has demonstrated that low-molecular-weight heparins are safe and effective for the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism. The primary purpose of this article is to review the pharmacologic characteristics of low-molecular-weight heparins. Dosing recommendations for low-molecular-weight heparins as they apply to the prevention of deep venous thrombosis are presented. Finally, a dosing criteria chart is presented to assist the podiatric physician in prescribing and evaluating low-molecular-weight heparins as a therapeutic class. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(4): 383–389, 2005)