PETALING JAYA: The Islamic development department (Jakim) says it is ready to review a fatwa banning the use of blood thinning medication that is derived from pig cells to treat blood clots affecting pregnant women.
The department’s communications chief Zakaria Othman told FMT that the health ministry needs to be consulted first on this matter before Jakim brings it to the national fatwa committee.
“Jakim has taken note of the suggestions (to lift the ban). We have no objections and are ready to bring the findings (of research done for the blood thinning medication) to seek the committee’s view,” he said.
Previously, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim) lecturer Zizi Azlinda Yusof was reported as saying that the fatwa against the use of blood thinning medication derived from pig cells needed to be reviewed after the statistics department revealed that blood clots were the main cause of deaths among pregnant women in 2021.
She said the review should not be used to “legalise” substances derived from pigs but only for use in a limited manner for pregnant women who are at risk of having blood clots.
She added that currently, there are three types of blood-thinning medicines in the market – those derived from pigs (porcine), cows (bovine), and synthetic materials.
According to Zizi, clinical results show that porcine-based blood thinning medication is the most effective and with no adverse reactions to the mother and her unborn child.
Blood thinning medication derived from pigs’ cell tissues is categorised as Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH), and is marketed as “clexane”.
Zizi said the health ministry’s clinical guideline book placed clexane as the main choice for the treatment of blood clots in pregnant women.
“Blood thinning medication derived from bovine (cow) cell tissues (which is marketed as ‘heparin’) can also treat blood clots but doctors do not prefer it because it can cause severe bleeding in pregnant women.
“Meanwhile, ‘arixtra’, the blood thinning medication which is free from animal substances, poses the risk of the baby being born with deformities,” she added.