Clinical use of enoxaparin in the management of non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2005 Jun;6(7):1241-51. doi: 10.1517/14656566.6.7.1241.


Enoxaparin (Lovenox; Roule-Poulenc Rorer, Inc.), a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), is commonly used in the management of non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) based on clinical trial outcomes. It is one of a group of glycosaminoglycan compounds that accelerate the inactivation of factor Xa by inducing a conformational change in antithrombin. In contrast to unfractionated heparin (UFH), LMWH have greater bioavailability, a more predictable anticoagulant response, longer half-life and a higher proportion of anti-factor Xa to anti-factor IIa activity. As a consequence, laboratory monitoring of the anticoagulant effect is typically unnecessary. Antithrombin therapy with LMWH or UFH has the highest-level recommendation (IA) in the 2002 professional guidelines for the management of unstable angina and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, where enoxaparin has a IIA recommendation over UFH unless early coronary artery bypass surgery is planned. In a recent systematic overview of > 20,000 patients with NSTE ACS from six clinical trials, including conservative and invasively managed patients, enoxaparin provided a statistically significant reduction in 30-day death or nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) compared with UFH with no significant excess in transfusions, or major bleeding. These data support the role of enoxaparin as an anti-coagulant in patients with NSTE ACS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Angina, Unstable / drug therapy
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Coronary Disease / drug therapy*
  • Enoxaparin / chemistry
  • Enoxaparin / pharmacokinetics
  • Enoxaparin / therapeutic use*
  • Heparin / analogs & derivatives
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Syndrome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin
  • Heparin