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Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

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Unread 09-24-2011, 09:09 AM
Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

I have a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. I have never had a blood clot, but my aunt developed a DVT after her hysterectomy in 1994. In order to prevent blood clots during and after surgery, my doctor is suggesting that I wear compression boots during the surgery and then give myself daily Lovenox injections for 1 week post surgery.

I have been reading threads about this on HysterSisters, and I really DON'T want to do the Lovenox injections! Is there any thing else they can do beside injections?! Isn't there a pill I can take??!! Seriously, are there alternatives to prevent blood clots after surgery? I'd be interested in hearing about alternatives! Thanks!

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Unread 09-24-2011, 12:48 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

Hi there! Sorry you're so upset about that! At the hospital where I had my surgery, the compression boots are standard for all surgical patients. I don't have Factor V but I have family members who do and also friends with bleeding disorders . . . what is it about the injections that you don't like? The injections really aren't that bad . . . they sting a little bit while going in, but nothing horrible.
Unread 09-24-2011, 12:51 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

I'm fine with the compression boots, I just don't like the idea of giving myself an injection! I don't like needles! I have an appt. the day before surgery with my hematologist. My husband is going to go with me and I asked him if he could give me the injections if I have trouble giving it to myself.
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Unread 09-24-2011, 12:52 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

I guess I was just wondering "why injections?" Isn't there a pill that would work just as well?
Unread 09-24-2011, 01:01 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

At this point in time, no. Lovenox is LMWH (low molecular weight heparin), which thins the blood to help avoid DVTs. There is research going on into the development of effective oral dosage forms but so far nothing commercially available. There are oral anticoagulants such as warfarin, but unfortunately those interact with pretty much every other medication you'd be given during or after surgery so they're really not a great choice.

Perhaps you could have a visiting nurse give you the injections, or if the DR's office is close enough to your house you could go in and have a nurse there give them to you? Though my preference would be to deal with the fear/dislike of injections and just do it yourself if you possibly can.

Good luck with your surgery!

Unread 09-24-2011, 01:39 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

Hi there

I've got Factor V Leiden and although I am warfarin (Coumadin) all the time, I have to have the injections when I stop the warfarin to have surgery (or previously when I was pregnant). I've had to give myself hundreds of injections over the years. The injections are honestly not that bad. I was terrified at first, but now when I need them I would rather give them myself than a nurse doing them.

They are given subcutaneously, which is a relatively shallow injection. The needles are very fine. Most of the time I feel nothing but a slight sting after the injection.

Even though I was taking warfarin tablets post op after my hysterectomy, I needed to have a week of injections at the same time because the warfarin takes a while to get to a therapeutic level.

As far as I know there is nothing else available yet as an alternative. From experience I would always take the injections. I've suffered multiple massive blood clots (even just with missing two injections) which at one point required me to be resuscitated. It is seriously worth the injections if there is no alternative.

I hope you manage to find a solution. But if you are stuck with having to have injections, honestly they are not that bad.

Good luck and let us know how things go.
Unread 09-24-2011, 03:02 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

Glad to see you got answers about injectable vs. oral alternatives. As far as giving yourself the shot, they shouldn't have a problem with your husband doing it for you if you are unable to do it yourself.

Wishing you all the best!
Unread 09-24-2011, 03:57 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

Thanks, everyone, for the great replies!
Unread 09-24-2011, 04:14 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

I had to do lovenox for a few days before than two weeks after. The first shot I paced and paced trying to work up the nerve to do it, then I just did it and got it over with. My trick, inject slowly, and have an ice pack ready to put on the spot immediately after and you won't feel any stinging. DO NOT RUB the spot you inject, as that will just give you a huge bruise! I never got a bruise more than 1/2 centimeter, and I think it's because I iced right away! Other than that moment where you actually put the needle in, it's not that bad. It doesn't hurt, it's just weird to give yourself a shot, that's all.
Unread 09-24-2011, 08:46 PM
Re: Factor V Leiden -- Lovenox injections

It takes several days for Coumadin to get to the correct levels in your body. Lovanox is prescribed because it has a shorter life and lasts about 12 hours. I take Coumadin for Factor V and have had a DVT and pulmonary emboli. When I have had to go off the Coumadin, I have taken Lovanox for several days, but I still have to go without any medications for at least two days before the surgery. After your surgery, you could take the Coumadin but it wouldn't be any good for at least 4-5 days. I will be staying longer in the hospital after my surgery in November because of this. My "blood thinners" (Heparin) will be via my IV until my doc is certain I won't be in danger of clots. The Lovanox is not that bad, and my husband has given them to me because I hate needles, too. The only really negative part of Lovanox is that it is very expensive. My insurance tried to tell me that there was lifetime maximum allowed with it and that I coulnd't ever have it again. However, my doc stepped in and argued that it would risk my life not to have it. If you haven't had a clot and are Factor V positive and have had surgery before, your chances of clotting this time are still very low. The compression boots and compression stockings are a given for anyone in danger of clots and for many others, too. In any case, Lovanox is pretty tame. Someone in your household can get a 5 minute lesson on giving them, and you'll do fine. Good luck!

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