Although oral vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin have been the mainstay of thromboprophylaxis in the outpatient setting, warfarin has potential disadvantages, including food and drug interactions, the need for drug monitoring, intolerance, failure, and hypersensitivity syndromes. The use of low-molecular-weight heparin as a primary or secondary thromboprophylactic drug in the outpatient setting for extended prophylaxis or as outpatient bridging therapy has been addressed less extensively. Available evidence shows that low-molecular-weight heparin can be used as extended outpatient-based primary thromboprophylaxis for major orthopedic and cancer surgery and is a safe and effective alternative to warfarin in long-term secondary thromboprophylaxis, especially in cancer patients and in pregnant women. Low-molecular-weight heparin can also be used as an alternative to unfractionated heparin as outpatient-based bridging therapy. In addition to good clinical outcomes and financial benefits, mainly resulting from a reduction in the length of hospital stay, the use of extended-duration low-molecular-weight heparin in the outpatient setting appears to be feasible, with high patient compliance.
- Long-term prevention
- Low-molecular-weight heparin