- Atrial Fibrillation Slideshow: Causes, Tests and Treatment
- Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
- A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
- What is dabigatran, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for dabigatran?
- Is dabigatran available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for dabigatran?
- What are the uses for dabigatran?
- What are the side effects of dabigatran?
- What is the dosage for dabigatran?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with dabigatran?
- Is dabigatran safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about dabigatran?
What is dabigatran, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Dabigatran is an oral drug used to treat and prevent blood clots (an anticoagulant or blood thinner) in the hearts of patients with atrial fibrillation. These clots are likely to break into pieces and travel to the brain to cause strokes.
- Similarly, it is used to treat and prevent blood clots in the deep veins of the legs (deep venous thrombosis or DVT) and blood clots in the lungs. Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs are likely to break into pieces and travel to the lungs to block arteries in the lungs (pulmonary embolus or PE). Dabigatran works by blocking the action of thrombin a protein that is necessary for the coagulation of blood that results in blood clots. Reducing the action of thrombin reduces the ability of blood to clot.
- Dabigatran was approved by the FDA on October 2010.
What are the uses for dabigatran?
What are the side effects of dabigatran?
Common side effects of dabigatran include:
- Symptoms of gastritis
Other serious side effects include:
- The most serious side effect is major bleeding. Major bleeding includes hemorrhagic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, fatal bleeding, and gastrointestinal bleeds.
- Dabigatran increases the risk of bleeding and can cause significant and, sometimes, fatal bleeding. All signs or symptoms of blood loss such as a drop in hemoglobin and/or hematocrit or low blood pressure should be evaluated and dabigatran should be discontinued in patients with active bleeding.
What is the dosage for dabigatran?
- The recommended dose of dabigatran for non-valvular atrial fibrillation is 75 to 150 mg twice daily. The recommended dose for preventing or treating DVT or PE is 150 mg twice daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with dabigatran?
- P glycoprotein (P-gp) inhibitors (for example, dronedarone or ketoconazole [Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric]) increase blood levels of dabigatran.
- The dose of dabigatran should be reduced to 75 mg twice daily when administered with P-gp inhibitors in patients with moderate renal impairment (a creatinine clearance of 30-50 mL/min).
- Dabigatran should not be combined with P-gp inhibitors in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance of 15-30 mL/min).
- Combining dabigatran with P-gp inducers (for example, rifampin) reduces dabigatran blood levels and should generally be avoided.
Is dabigatran safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about dabigatran?
What preparations of dabigatran are available?
- Capsules: 75 and 150 mg
How should I keep dabigatran stored?
- Dabigatran should be stored at 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
- Once opened, it must be used within 4 months.
- The container should be kept tightly closed. Drug should be stored in the original package to protect it from moisture.
Quick GuideAtrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Afib Treatment
Dabigatran (Pradaxa) is a drug prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots in the heart of individuals with atrial fibrillation. Pradaxa also is used to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Quiz
Take the Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for these two dangerous...
Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of the common heart abnormality known as atrial fibrillation (A-fib)....
Atrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Afib Treatment
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation or AF can lead to serious heart...
DVT in Pictures: Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis, Beyond Leg Pain and More
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a dangerous and sometimes fatal blood clot that occurs deep within the lower leg or thigh....
Related Disease Conditions
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Symptoms, ECG, and Treatment Medications
Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormality in the heart rhythm which involves irregular and often rapid beating of the...
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT, Blood Clot in the Legs)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the deep veins, and can be caused by broken bones, trauma to a limb, immobility,...
Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in the Lung)
A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a piece of a blood clot from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) breaks off and travels to an artery...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
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- Aspirin Often Wrongly Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.