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Withdrawing enoxaparin from a vial

 
 

Sometimes you will need to give enoxaparin (also known as Lovenox ®) to yourself while you are away from the hospital. You might receive the medicine in a pre-filled syringe or you may have to withdraw (remove) the medicine from a small vial (bottle).   

 
Medicine vial
 
Pre-filled syringe
 

A nurse or pharmacist will teach you how to give enoxaparin before leaving the hospital or clinic. This teaching will include how to use an insulin syringe and needle to remove the correct dose from the vial.  

Purpose of this resource:

  • Introduce you to the insulin syringe and make sure you understand how to use it correctly. Giving the wrong amount of medicine could have serious side effects.
  • Provide steps to help you withdraw medicine from a vial correctly and keep the medicine sterile (germ free).

Why use an insulin syringe for enoxaparin? 

  • An insulin syringe can be used to inject medicines because they are designed to give small amounts into the skin.
  • Using this type of syringe makes giving enoxaparin easier and safer than other types of syringes.
  • Insulin syringes come in 3 sizes: 30 units, 50 units, and 100 units.
    • 1 unit on the insulin syringe = 1 mg (milligram) of enoxaparin.
      • For example, if your dose is 20 mg, that is the same as 20 units on the insulin syringe.
    • The size of syringe you use will depend on your dose.
    • The insulin syringe comes with a small needle that cannot be removed.
  • The pictures below show examples of how a dose will look on an insulin syringe.
insurlin syringes
 

Steps for withdrawing enoxaparin from vial

Gather your supplies 

  • Insulin syringe
  • Vial of enoxaparin
  • Alcohol prep pad

Determine your dose 

  • Read the prescription label to be sure you know the correct dose.
  • Your dose is __________ mg = ______ units on the insulin syringe
  • If you are unsure or have questions call the pharmacy or your clinic before giving the medicine.

Withdraw enoxaparin from the vial 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry well or use an alcohol-based hand-cleaning product. See “Do you know… Clean hands.
  • Remove the cap from the vial, exposing the rubber stopper. Do not shake the vial.
  • Clean the rubber stopper with an alcohol pad thoroughly and wait for the alcohol to dry. Do not blow on the vial to dry.
  • Carefully pull the needle cover straight off the needle. Do not touch the needle.
  • Place the medicine vial on a flat surface and insert the needle straight through the rubber stopper.
  • Keeping the needle in the vial, turn the vial upside down and make sure the needle is in the liquid medicine.
  • Slowly pull back on the plunger and let the medicine enter the syringe. Fill it up to the dose the doctor prescribed.
  • Check for air bubbles in the syringe. Gently tap the syringe to make any air bubbles go to the top. Push the plunger until the air bubble is gone. If needed, pull more medicine into the syringe so that you have the correct dose.
  • Take the needle out of the vial being careful to not touch the needle to any surface. The dose is ready to be given.
  • To avoid bending the needle, only put the cap back on the needle if you cannot give the dose right away.

How to give the enoxaparin injection 

See “Do you know… How to give subcutaneous injections.” 

Store any remaining medicine in the vial for the next dose. Store refrigerated for up to 28 days. 

 
 

 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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