Are there any Alternatives to Pradaxa?


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Table of Contents


I. Blood Thinners 101

II.Eliquis vs. Pradaxa for Atrial Fibrillation

III. Comparing Pradaxa and Warfarin

IV. How to Prevent Bleeding on Blood Thinners


Blood Thinners 101

Pradaxa, also known by its generic name dabigatran, is a blood thinner used to lower the chance of stroke and blood clots. Pradaxa is one of many blood thinners on the medical market, but what makes it different from other medications?

Pradaxa is a direct thrombin inhibitor that blocks the blood’s central clotting agent (thrombin). When this substance is blocked, the chance of blood clots is lowered. Blood clots can occur anywhere in the body, but Pradaxa is mostly prescribed to patients with atrial fibrillation. Patients can also use it to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.

There are many blood thinners on the market, and you can find Warfarin, Eliquis, and Xarelto for purchase on My Drug Center. Read on to learn more about common blood thinners and how they stack up to Pradaxa.

Eliquis vs. Pradaxa for Atrial Fibrillation

Some blood thinners have been found to work more effectively at treating certain disorders than others. For example, Pradaxa and Eliquis are approved to treat atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) that is not caused by a heart valve problem.

Atrial fibrillation may cause the heart to pump blood improperly, so having atrial fibrillation increases a person’s risk of stroke. The blood may pool and form a clot, which may travel to other parts of the body like the brain or lungs.

These medications work to prevent a dangerous clotting event, but they do come with unique side effects. Common side effects of Pradaxa include:

  • Stomach discomfort
  • Bruising and minor bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Skin rash
  • Itching

If you are taking Pradaxa and experience serious side effects like severe heartburn, nausea, or vomiting, you should contact your doctor. There are fewer common side effects of Eliquis, including skin rash, allergic reactions, fainting, nausea, and anemia. Eliquis may have fewer common side effects, but it has many serious side effects, such as:

  • Unusual bleeding (from the nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum)
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Red, pink, or brown urine
  • Coughing up blood or vomit

Both Eliquis and Pradaxa are typically taken twice a day. Overall, both medications can treat atrial fibrillation, and it is up to your doctor to determine which type is best for you.

Comparing Pradaxa and Warfarin

Coumadin, also known as warfarin, is one of the oldest blood thinners on the market. Unlike other blood thinners like Pradaxa, warfarin works with vitamin K in the body. Vitamin K is an essential substance in blood clotting and stops the body from bleeding under normal conditions. Warfarin blocks vitamin K from making clotting factors, which makes the blood less likely to clot.

Warfarin is usually only taken once a day but requires blood tests every 12 weeks to ensure your dosage is correct. Frequent testing is not required for newer drugs like Pradaxa or Xarelto, which some people may prefer. Eating vitamin K-rich foods may also affect the effectiveness of warfarin, but vitamin K foods do not interact with the function of Pradaxa.

Those taking warfarin are more at risk of a major bleeding event. A minor cut or bruise may become dangerous if your warfarin dosage is not correct. Regardless of your choice of blood thinner, you should contact your doctor right away if you begin to bleed more than normal.

How to Prevent Bleeding on Blood Thinners

All FDA-approved blood thinners come with the possibility of a dangerous bleeding event. Some medications, like warfarin, are more likely to cause bleeding than others, but you should always be cautious if your doctor has prescribed you a blood thinner regime. To prevent bleeding, you may need to alter your hobbies and activities. You may want to:

  • Avoid contact sports like football, hockey, or soccer
  • Wear gloves when using scissors, knives, or gardening tools
  • Take dentures or retainers out every few hours to give your gums a break
  • Stop wet-shaving or removing hair with wax and use an electric razor instead

If your doctor decides you are at risk for blood clots, you should be aware of your blood thinner options. At the end of the day, your doctor will decide the right course of treatment for you, but it is up to the patient to remain aware of any side effects they may be experiencing. When taking Pradaxa, it is important to follow your doctor’s directions and avoid any dangerous activities that can cause external or internal bleeding.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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