The risk of intramuscular haematoma is low following injection of benzathine penicillin G in patients receiving concomitant anticoagulant therapy

Abstract

The use of intramuscular injections is widely recommended to be avoided in patients who are prescribed anticoagulant agents, both oral and parenteral due to concerns of haematoma. Benzathine penicillin G (BPG), administered via intramuscular injection, is a vital treatment component for patients with rheumatic heart disease. BPG must be administered long term (for at least a decade) as part of treatment and alternative options to intramuscular injection are currently limited. Many of these patients with rheumatic heart disease will also require long term or lifelong anticoagulation. Our retrospective, single centre study of 48 adult and paediatric hospitalised patients, 29 of which were receiving concomitant anticoagulants, demonstrates no significant bleeding complications from intramuscular administration of BPG on the day of intramuscular injection and for 7 days post injection or until hospital discharge. In the absence of practical alternatives for patients with rheumatic heart disease, our local data supports continuing intramuscular injection of BPG in patients with rheumatic heart disease receiving anticoagulant medication.

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Correspondence to Emma Fox.

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Fox, E., Misko, J., Rawlins, M. et al. The risk of intramuscular haematoma is low following injection of benzathine penicillin G in patients receiving concomitant anticoagulant therapy. J Thromb Thrombolysis 50, 237–238 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11239-019-02013-6

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Keywords

  • Benzathine penicillin G
  • Anticoagulation
  • Intramuscular
  • Warfarin
  • Bleeding
  • Haematoma