Pradaxa (Dabigatran) is used to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT; a blood clot, usually in the leg) and pulmonary embolism (PE; a blood clot in the lung) in patients who have been treated with an injectable anticoagulant (''blood thinner''). It is also used to reduce the risk of a DVT and PE from happening again after initial treatment is completed. Dabigatran is used to help prevent DVT and PE in people who have had hip replacement surgery. Dabigatran is also used to help prevent strokes or serious blood clots in people who have atrial fibrillation (a condition in which the heart beats irregularly, increasing the chance of clots forming in the body, and possibly causing strokes) without heart valve disease. Dabigatran is in a class of anticoagulant medications called direct thrombin inhibitors. It works by preventing blood clots from forming in the body.
Dabigatran comes as a capsule to take by mouth. When dabigatran is used to treat or prevent DVT or PE or to prevent strokes or serious blood clots in people who have atrial fibrillation, it is usually taken twice a day. When dabigatran is used to prevent a DVT or PE after hip replacement surgery it is usually taken 1 to 4 hours after surgery, and then once a day for another 28 to 35 days. Dabigatran may be taken with or without food. Take dabigatran at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dabigatran exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the capsules whole with a whole glass of water; do not split, chew, or crush them. Do not open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on food or into drinks. Dabigatran will help prevent strokes and blood clots only as long as you continue to take it. Continue to take dabigatran even if you feel well. Make sure to refill your prescription before you run out of medication so that you will not miss doses of dabigatran. Do not stop taking dabigatran without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking dabigatran, the risk that you will have clot or a stroke may increase.
Dabigatran may cause side effects including:
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms occur.
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
Dabigatran may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Q: Why is Pradaxa prescribed?
A: Pradaxa is used to help prevent the formation of blood clots.
Q: Does Pradaxa have a generic alternative?
A: Dabigatran (Generic) is available for purchase at the fraction of the brand name cost.
Q: What happens when you stop taking Pradaxa?
A: If you stop taking Pradaxa, you may have an increased risk of forming a clot in your blood. Do not stop taking Pradaxa without talking to your doctor.
Q: What if I miss a dose of Pradaxa?
A: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if you remember the missed dose less than 6 hours before your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Q: How should I store this medication?
A: Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Do not store dabigatran in a pillbox or pill organizer. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture. Open only one bottle of dabigatran at a time. Finish your opened bottle of dabigatran before opening a new bottle.
Q: When should I throw Pradaxa out?
A: Dispose of any medication that is left in the container 4 months after you opened it.