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Enoxaparin (Lovenox): Care Instructions

Injection sites, to either side and at least 5 centimetres (2 inches) from belly button
Person giving self a shot, inserting needle straight into fold of skin on side of belly

Your Care Instructions

Enoxaparin (Lovenox) is an anticoagulant medicine. It is one of a class of anticoagulants called low molecular weight heparin. Many people call these medicines blood thinners. They don't actually thin the blood, but they increase the time it takes a blood clot to form. This reduces the chance of a blood clot in the leg veins (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Enoxaparin is a shot (injection). You or someone caring for you will inject it once or twice a day. Most people need shots for 5 to 10 days, but in some cases it can be longer. Your doctor will tell you how long you need to have the shots.

Enoxaparin is used to:

  • Treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot in the legs, pelvis, or arms.
  • Reduce the chance of getting blood clots after certain surgeries. For example, you may take enoxaparin after knee or hip replacement surgery.
  • Reduce the chance of getting blood clots in people who are likely to get them and who are not active for a long period of time. For example, you may need enoxaparin if you need to stay in bed for a long time because of a health problem.
  • Reduce the chance of blood clots when another blood thinner is stopped for a short time. For example, if you take warfarin and need surgery, your doctor may ask you to stop taking warfarin for a short time before the surgery. If you have a high risk of blood clots during this time, you may take enoxaparin before the surgery. After the surgery, your doctor will tell you when it is safe to start taking warfarin again. This is called bridge therapy.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

How to inject enoxaparin

You will get a prescription for prefilled syringes. Inject the medicine at the same time every day unless your doctor gives you other instructions.

  1. Wash and dry your hands.
  2. Sit or lie in a position that lets you see your belly.
  3. Clean the injection site with an alcohol pad or swab, and let it dry. Choose a site on the right or left side of your belly, at least 5 centimetres from your belly button. Change the site each time you inject the medicine.
  4. Remove the needle cap by pulling it straight off. Don't twist it.
  5. Hold the syringe like a pencil in one hand. With the other hand, pinch an area of the injection site skin. You should have a "fold" in the skin.
  6. Insert the entire needle straight down into the fold of skin. Don't insert the needle at an angle.
  7. Press the plunger with your thumb until the syringe is empty.
  8. Pull the needle straight out and let go of the skin.
  9. Point the needle away from you and press down on the plunger. The needle will be covered.

Take precautions

  • Don't rub the injection site. This could cause bruising.
  • Don't push air bubbles out of the syringe unless your doctor tells you to. Each syringe comes with air bubbles.
  • Don't stop taking enoxaparin without talking to your doctor.
  • Be sure you get instructions about how to take your medicine safely. Blood thinners can cause serious bleeding problems.
  • Talk to your doctor before you take any prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, antibiotics, or natural health products.
  • Don't take the following medicines unless your doctor says it's okay:
    • Aspirin, products like aspirin (salicylates), or products that contain aspirin
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve)
  • Store enoxaparin at room temperature. Don't put it in the refrigerator or freezer.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have signs of severe bleeding, such as:
    • A severe headache that is different from past headaches.
    • Vomiting blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
    • Passing maroon or very bloody stools.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have unexpected bleeding, including:
    • Blood in stools or black stools that look like tar.
    • Blood in your urine.
    • Bruises or blood spots under the skin.
  • You feel dizzy or light-headed.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.