dextran, high molecular weight

Pronunciation: DEX tran

Brand: Dextran 70 6% in 0.9% Sodium Chloride, Dextran 70 6% in 5% Dextrose, Gentran 70, Hyskon

What is the most important information I should know about high-molecular weight dextran?

Multum donot

You should not be given this medication if you are allergic to dextran, or if you have severe kidney or heart disease.

If possible before you receive dextran, tell your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, a blood cell disorder, heart disease or congestive heart failure, kidney disease, a stomach or intestinal disorder, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), urination problems, a food or drug allergy, or if you are on a low-salt diet.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially a blood thinner, steroid medication, digoxin, or a diuretic.

What is high-molecular weight dextran?

High-molecular weight dextran is a plasma volume expander derived from natural sources of sugar (glucose). It works by restoring blood plasma lost through severe bleeding.

Multum emt

Severe blood loss can decrease oxygen levels, which can lead to organ failure, brain damage, coma, and possibly death. Plasma is needed to circulate red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body.

Dextran is used to treat hypovolemia (a decrease in the volume of circulating blood plasma), that can result from severe blood loss after surgery, injury, or other causes of bleeding.

Dextran is also used to expand the inside of the uterus, making it easier for a doctor to see with a scope during a diagnostic procedure called hysteroscopy.

Dextran may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive high-molecular weight dextran?

Multum donot

You should not be given this medication if you are allergic to dextran, or if you have severe kidney or heart disease.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication. If possible before you receive dextran, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • a blood cell disorder such as thrombocytopenia (lack of platelets);
  • heart disease or congestive heart failure;
  • kidney disease;
  • a stomach or intestinal disorder;
  • pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs);
  • urination problems not caused by hypovolemia;
  • a food or drug allergy; or
  • if you are on a low-salt diet.
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FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dextran is harmful to an unborn baby. If possible before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

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It is not known whether dextran passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

How is high-molecular weight dextran given?

Dextran is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. For a hysteroscopy procedure, dextran is placed into the uterus using a small tube.

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You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. A doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional will give you this medication.

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Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving this medication.

To be sure dextran is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with dextran.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since dextran is given as needed by a healthcare professional, it is not likely that you will miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

An overdose of dextran is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid after receiving high-molecular weight dextran?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity after you are treated with dextran.

What are the possible side effects of high-molecular weight dextran?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • wheezing or tight feeling in your chest;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • unusual bleeding, or any bleeding that will not stop;
  • feeling like you might pass out; or
  • burning, itching, swelling, or pain around the IV needle.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • joint pain;
  • stuffy nose;
  • mild itching; or
  • skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect high-molecular weight dextran?

Before you receive dextran, tell your doctor if you are also using:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
  • steroids (prednisolone and others);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin); or
  • a diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride (Midamor, Moduretic), spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide), or triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with dextran. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about dextran.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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