- What is dabigatran? How does dabigatran work?
- 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? How does dabigatran work?
- 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 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?
- Dabigatran is used for reducing the risk of blood clots in the heart, and resulting strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation who have no problems with their heart valves (nonvalvular atrial fibrillation). It also is used for treating and preventing deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
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?
- There are no adequate or well-controlled trials of dabigatran use in pregnant women.
- It is not known if dabigatran is excreted into human milk.
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.
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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.
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Related Disease Conditions
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormality in the heart rhythm, which involves irregular and often rapid beating of the heart. Symptoms may include heart palpitations, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Atrial fibrillation treatment may include medication or procedures like cardioversion or ablation to normalize the heart rate.
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 in the lung where it blocks the artery and damages the lung. The most common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are shortness of breath, chest pain, and a rapid heart rate. Causes of pulmonary embolism include prolonged immobilization, certain medications, smoking, cancer, pregnancy, and surgery. Pulmonary embolism can cause death if not treated promptly.
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include: Smoking High blood pressure High cholesterol Diabetes Family history Obesity Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
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, medications, smoking, cancer, genetic predisposition, and cancer. Symptoms and signs of a deep vein thrombosis in a leg are swelling, tenderness, redness, warmth, and pain. Treatments for DVT include medications and surgery.
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women and health professionals are not aware of the risk factors for heart disease in women and may delay diagnosis and treatment. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, tobacco use, overweight/obesity, stress, alcohol consumption, and depression influence heart disease risk in women. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes also increase women's risk of heart disease. Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), stress-ECG, endothelial testing, ankle-brachial index (ABI), echocardiogram, nuclear imaging, electron beam CT, and lab tests to assess blood lipids and biomarkers of inflammation are used to diagnose heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women saves lives. Heart disease can be prevented and reversed with lifestyle changes.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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