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Had Port Implanted In Chest And Flushed With Heparin. Experiencing Intense Itch Area In The Area. Could Be Allergic To Heparin?

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Posted on Mon, 30 Sep 2013
Question: I recently had a port implanted in my chest and have had it flushed with heparin. I experienced an intense itch in the area. Could I be allergic to heparin?
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
It is a possibility!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this battle with various cancer types and the recent itches experienced after using heparin.

Itching is a known side effect of heparin. Is it the first time you have used heparin or have you been using it and this is the first time you got these itches?

This reaction is local and makes me wonder why it would be so localised if it were an allergy to heparin. Heparin allergy is often systemic and these symptoms should be more generalised and diffuse and not localised. My strongest suspicion is that a local irritation could be responsible for this and not the heparin.

I will suggest that you monitor future use closely. If the same symptoms should recur, then consider discussing this with your treating doctor as a possible allergy. However, if it doesn't repeat with future use, then it is most likely a transient local reaction with no specific implications to your health.

I hope you find this helpful. Feel free to ask follow up questions for clarification and I would gladly address them. I wish you well.
Dr. Ditah, MD



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah (2 days later)
I had a port fifteen years ago and had no problems when it was flushed. I am wondering if there is an alternative to heparin?
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (25 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Monitor again the effects of herparin

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this follow up question.

From the information you have provided, it sounds like you never had any allergies to herparin when you first used it. For this reason I would like you to monitor this rather unexpected reaction that you had. This may represent just a rare transient occurrence and not a consistent established allergic reaction. however, if it should repeat itself, then we would need to place more emphasis on this.

Herparin is the parent molecule. new forms like low molecular weight heparin have been developed and can effectively replace heparin. You would need to talk to your doctor about getting this prescription if it finally boils down to replacing it.

I hope this answers your question. I wish you well.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6323 Questions

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Had Port Implanted In Chest And Flushed With Heparin. Experiencing Intense Itch Area In The Area. Could Be Allergic To Heparin?

Brief Answer:
It is a possibility!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this battle with various cancer types and the recent itches experienced after using heparin.

Itching is a known side effect of heparin. Is it the first time you have used heparin or have you been using it and this is the first time you got these itches?

This reaction is local and makes me wonder why it would be so localised if it were an allergy to heparin. Heparin allergy is often systemic and these symptoms should be more generalised and diffuse and not localised. My strongest suspicion is that a local irritation could be responsible for this and not the heparin.

I will suggest that you monitor future use closely. If the same symptoms should recur, then consider discussing this with your treating doctor as a possible allergy. However, if it doesn't repeat with future use, then it is most likely a transient local reaction with no specific implications to your health.

I hope you find this helpful. Feel free to ask follow up questions for clarification and I would gladly address them. I wish you well.
Dr. Ditah, MD