Pradaxa is an anticoagulant (thrombin inhibitor) that helps prevent the formation of blood clots. Dabigatran is also used to treat blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) and to reduce the risk of them occurring again. This medication may also be used to prevent these blood clots from forming after hip replacement surgery. Dabigatran is an anticoagulant that works by blocking a certain substance (a clotting protein called thrombin) in your blood. This helps to keep blood flowing smoothly in your body.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day. To prevent clots after hip or knee replacement surgery, take it as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. Avoid antacids within 24 hours after surgery, or dabigatran may not work as well. Swallow the capsules whole with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters). Do not crush, chew, or break open the capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Do not put this medication in a pill box or medication reminder box. It must be kept tightly closed in the original bottle (or blister package) to protect it from moisture. It is very important to take it exactly as directed. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
If you have had heart valve surgery, talk to your doctor about the best medication for you. Do not stop taking any medication, including dabigatran, without talking to your doctor first. It is important that all your doctors and dentists know that you take dabigatran. Before having surgery or any medical/dental procedures, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication and about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor may tell you to stop this medication before surgery. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. Avoid getting injections into the muscles. If you must have an injection into the muscle (for example, a flu shot), ask for it to be given in the arm. This way, it will be easier to check for bleeding and/or apply pressure bandages. This medication may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how much alcohol you may safely drink. This medication can cause heavy bleeding. To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports. Use an electric razor when shaving and a soft toothbrush when brushing your teeth. If you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head, call your doctor right away.
You should not take Pradaxa if you are allergic to dabigatran, or if you have an artificial heart valve or any active bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other cause. Pradaxa may cause you to bleed more easily, especially if you have a stomach ulcer; you have recent or recurring bleeding in your stomach or intestines; you have kidney disease (especially if you also take dronedarone or ketoconazole); you take certain other medicines that can increase bleeding risk such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), heparin, prasugrel, warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); you take an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) on a regular basis, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others; or you are older than 75.
Possible side effect
Easy bruising or minor bleeding (such as nosebleed, bleeding from cuts) may occur. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of serious bleeding, including: unusual pain/swelling/discomfort, unusual/easy bruising, prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums, persistent/frequent nosebleeds, unusually heavy/prolonged menstrual flow, pink/dark urine, coughing up blood, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, severe headache, dizziness/fainting, unusual or persistent tiredness/weakness, bloody/black/tarry stools. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: stomach/abdominal pain, severe heartburn/nausea/vomiting.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: mifepristone. Other medications can affect the removal of dabigatran from your body, which may affect how dabigatran works. Examples include cobicistat, cyclosporine, dronedarone, ketoconazole, rifampin.
If you miss a dose of Pradaxa, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 6 hours away, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses of Pradaxa at the same time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Try not to miss any doses of Pradaxa to best prevent a stroke.
Seek emergency medical attention if someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing.
Store Pradaxa at a room temperature between 59° F to 86° F (15° C to 30° C). After opening the package use Pradaxa within 4 months.
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