The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has revised the label standards for two heparin products in an effort to prevent medication errors.

The changes are applicable to Heparin Sodium Injection, USP, and Heparin Lock Flush Solution, USP, including pre-filled heparin flush syringes.

As a result of these revisions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring that the labels for the multiple-dose vials now display the container’s full volume, accompanied by per-dose strength. The old labels only showed the per-dose volume.

Label images courtesy of FDA

The changes went into effect May 1, so heparin products with the new labels may already be in stock.

USP urges physicians, nurses and other key personnel to learn about the changes and look at the labels carefully before providing doses to patients. Practitioners also should consider separating stock with the old labels from the newly labeled products, and use old supplies before introducing the...

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