Main advantage over oral anticoagulation is immediate anticoagulant effect and short t^. Two main products: standard unfractionated heparin (UFH), a mixture of polysaccharide chains, mean MW 15,000, t^ 1.0-1.5h, and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), fragments of UFH (mean MW 5000) with longer t^ (3-6h) and greater bioavailability. LMWH has significant advantages: one daily SC injection, no monitoring, no dose adjustment, low risk of HITT. Heparins act by potentiating coagulation inhibitor antithrombin (AT) resulting in antithrombin and anti-Xa activity. Both UFH and LMWH depend on renal clearance.

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