Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Hespan, Hextend
Generic Name: hetastarch (Pronunciation: HET a starch)
What is hetastarch (Hespan, Hextend)?
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.
Hetastarch 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.
Hetastarch also contains electrolytes (sodium, calcium potassium, magnesium) which are minerals essential for many functions in the body, including the brain and nervous system, heartbeat, and fluid balance.
Hetastarch may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of hetastarch (Hespan, Hextend)?
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.
Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
Rare but serious side effects may include:
Less serious side effects may include:
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 is the most important information I should know about hetastarch (Hespan, Hextend)?
You should not be given this medication if you are allergic to hetastarch, or if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, congestive heart failure, urination problems not caused by hypovolemia, or lactic acidosis.
Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as chest pain, fast or slow heart rate, wheezing or gasping for breath, feeling like you might pass out, weak pulse, slow breathing (breathing may stop), pale skin, easy bruising, blood in your urine or stools, swelling in your hands or feet, unusual bleeding, or any bleeding that will not stop.
Rare but serious side effects may include unusual headache, vision or speech problems, mental changes, drooping eyelids, loss of feeling in your face, tremors, or trouble swallowing, or fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Drugs and Treatment Resources
- Psoriasis Treatment Strategies for You and Your Doctor
- When ADHD Meds Have Scary Side Effects
- Hep C Treatment Options