Is Pradaxa Effective?


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Table of Contents


I. Understanding Pradaxa

II. Pradaxa vs. Warfarin

III. The Benefits of Pradaxa


Understanding Pradaxa

There are dozens of blood thinners on the market and the amount of choices may be overwhelming. Your doctor knows what type of medication is right for you, but it is important for every patient to know what they are taking every day.

Pradaxa, also known as dabigatran, is a medication approved for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Pradaxa also helps prevent the formation of blood clots for those with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem.

In several studies, Pradaxa has been found to be more effective than warfarin in reducing the risk of blood clots. Read on to learn how Pradaxa stacks up to more traditional blood thinners.

a person holding pills in their hand

Pradaxa vs. Warfarin

Pradaxa works by attaching to thrombin, the blood’s main clotting agent. By reducing thrombin’s ability to form a clot, Pradaxa reduces the risk of dangerous complications. Warfarin works differently by blocking the liver from using vitamin K to make clotting factors. When it is blocked, your blood takes longer to clot.

Warfarin is considered the old school blood thinner, but Pradaxa is preferred for several reasons. If you take warfarin, you have to get your blood checked regularly to make sure your dose is correct. These tests must be done at least every 12 weeks, which is inconvenient for many people.

Warfarin also affects what you can eat because of its relationship with vitamin K. You have to avoid foods high in vitamin K like leafy greens to ensure that the medication works correctly.

Benefits of Pradaxa

Pradaxa requires much less maintenance than other traditional blood thinners like warfarin. There is no need for regular blood tests and zero dietary restrictions. This drug is typically taken twice a day.

celery, broccoli, and green beans stacked next to each other

In clinical trials, Pradaxa was proven to work better than warfarin at reducing the risk of stroke due to atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart problem. Other benefits include:

  • Prevent DVTs and PEs in adults who have had a hip replacement
  • Decrease the risk of stroke and blood clots in adults with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation
  • Decrease the risk of DVTs and PEs in adults who have already experienced these medical events

It is important to remember that all blood thinners come with the possibility of excessive bleeding. Regardless of the blood thinner you take, it is important to look out for any signs of bleeding problems. If you experience a cut or injury, watch out for the following signs:

  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache or stomach ache
  • Bleeding from the gums or nose
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods

Bleeding is much more common on warfarin and excessive bleeding events are not as common with Pradaxa. If you have been prescribed blood thinners, you can save money on your prescriptions through My Drug Center.  

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