Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate Mesylate): Safeguarding Health | Better You Rx

Dive into Safety: Unveiling the Power of Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate Mesylate)

Patients who have received treatment with an injectable anticoagulant (also known as a “blood thinner”) are treated with dabigatran for deep vein thrombosis (DVT; a blood clot, typically in the leg) and pulmonary embolism (PE; a blood clot in the lung). It is also used to lessen the likelihood that a DVT or PE may recur following initial therapy. In patients who have undergone hip replacement surgery, dabigatran is used to prevent PE and DVT.

Dabigatran is also used to help prevent strokes or severe 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.

How to Apply

Dabigatran is available as a capsule to be swallowed. Dabigatran is often used twice daily to treat or prevent DVT and PE and to avoid strokes and life-threatening blood clots in those with atrial fibrillation. Dabigatran is often administered 1 to 4 hours after surgery, once daily for 28 to 35 days, to avoid a DVT or PE following hip replacement surgery. You can take dabigatran with or without food. Take dabigatran every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Dabigatran should be taken as prescribed.

Never take it in more significant or fewer amounts or more frequently than advised by your doctor. Do not break, chew, or crush the capsules; take one complete capsule with a full glass of water. Never crack the capsules; sprinkle the powder on your food or beverage. Only if you continue taking dabigatran can it help you avoid strokes and blood clots. Dabigatran should still be used even if you are feeling OK. To avoid missing dabigatran doses, replenish your prescription before you run out of medicine. Without first seeing your doctor, do not discontinue taking dabigatran. If you abruptly stop taking dabigatran, your chance of developing a clot or having a stroke may rise.

Unique Precautions

Before ingesting dabigatran,

  • If you have an allergy to dabigatran, other medications, or any of the substances in dabigatran capsules, let your doctor and pharmacist know immediately. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
  • Be sure to let your doctor and pharmacist know what prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you currently use or intend to use. Dronedarone (Multaq), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifamate, in Rifater) should all be mentioned. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • If you’ve lately observed any unusual bleeding or bruising or had a heart valve changed, let your doctor know. Most likely, your doctor will advise against taking dabigatran.
  • If you are 75 or older, have renal disease, a bleeding disorder, an ulcer in your stomach or intestine, or have ever had any of these conditions, let your doctor know.
  • Be sure to let your doctor know if you’re nursing a baby or expecting to become pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking dabigatran. You have a higher chance of serious bleeding during labor and delivery if you take dabigatran.
  • Be sure to inform your doctor or dentist if you’re having surgery, including dental surgery, if you’re taking dabigatran.

Untaken Dose

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. To continue with your regular dosing plan, skip the missed dose if you remember it less than 6 hours before your next scheduled dose. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

Five Side Effects of Pradaxa You Should Be Aware Of

Pradaxa may have negative effects, just like all anticoagulants do. Five of the most prominent adverse effects are covered below, along with suggestions for managing them.

1. Digestive system’s negative effects

Some of the most frequent side effects of Pradaxa include gastrointestinal (GI) side effects. This comprises:

  • Stomachache
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Acid reflux
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting and nauseous

Pradaxa’s GI side effects are frequently not severe. However, taking Pradaxa with food may offer some relief if they are troublesome. If taking Pradaxa with meals doesn’t help, your doctor might suggest a different drug to treat your symptoms. This may involve taking drugs, including proton pump inhibitors, histamine-2 antagonists, and antacids.

Inform your healthcare practitioner straight away if you experience persistent or severe GI issues. This could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an ulcer or stomach inflammation.

2. Bleeding

The mechanism of action of Pradaxa is to inhibit blood clotting. Bleeding is thus not surprising as one of the side effects. Pradaxa is more likely than warfarin to result in gastrointestinal bleeding but less likely to result in a brain hemorrhage.

In some circumstances, Pradaxa increases the risk of bleeding. For example, if you:

  • Take additional medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antiplatelet drugs like clopidogrel (Plavix), which can also result in bleeding.
  • Possess an artificial heart valve.
  • Aged more than 75
  • Experience kidney issues
  • Have a history of bleeding or ulcers in the stomach

Some signs of bleeding may be evident. But some are harder to spot. Signs of bleeding include:

  • Unusual bleeding from your gums
  • A heavier menstrual period
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Blood in your urine
  • Red or black stools
  • Coughing up blood
  • Vomiting blood
  • Bruising that happens without a known cause or gets larger
  • Low hemoglobin or hematocrit levels on a blood test
  • Headaches, dizziness, and weakness (may indicate bleeding in the brain)

In the event that you exhibit any bleeding or bruising symptoms, call your healthcare professional right away. Seek emergency attention if the blood loss is significant or you feel unwell. In the hospital, you might be given the drug Praxbind (idarucizumab) if you suffer a life-threatening bleed. Pradaxa’s effects are reversed by this drug.

3. Mouth sores

Another potential side effect of Pradaxa is ulcers. This may involve oral or esophageal ulcers (which are tubes that link your mouth to your stomach). These ulcers are thought to be the result of improper Pradaxa dosing. Inappropriate Pradaxa use can result in ulcers by causing significant mouth or esophageal irritation.

The recommended method for taking Pradaxa pills is with a full glass of water. This will assist in preventing it from being caught in the throat or esophagus. You shouldn’t open, chew, or break Pradaxa capsules.

4. Clots of blood

Pradaxa is a medication that you take to avoid blood clots. It doesn’t follow, however, that Pradaxa is always effective. Clots do, unfortunately, occasionally still occur. And in a few circumstances, blood clots are more prone to happen. These consist of:

If you discontinue Pradaxa too soon. A blood clot is more likely to occur if you stop taking Pradaxa too soon. This may result in potentially fatal situations like a heart attack or stroke. Pradaxa’s pharmaceutical label actually contains a boxed warning about an elevated risk of blood clots from abruptly quitting the medicine. The FDA’s most severe warning that it can give a drug is a boxed warning.

APS is also known as triple-positive antiphospholipid syndrome. A person with APS has excessive clotting because of a rare autoimmune disorder. DOACs like Pradaxa shouldn’t be used by people with APS. This is due to the fact that DOACs are less effective in APS patients than warfarin. If you have this medical condition, taking Pradaxa instead of Warfarin increases your risk of developing a blood clot.

if your heart valve is mechanical.

The risk of bleeding increases if you take Pradaxa and have a mechanical heart valve. But it can also make you more susceptible to blood clots. In studies, Pradaxa has been linked to clot-related events in persons with artificial heart valves, such as heart attack and stroke. Pradaxa shouldn’t be taken by anyone with a mechanical heart valve. It is not advised to take Pradaxa if you have bioprosthetic heart valves (tissue valves), as this population has not been adequately investigated.

It’s crucial to take Pradaxa as long as your doctor advises if you have been prescribed it. Pradaxa may be a lifelong medication for certain people. Others, though, might not always require it. A healthcare professional’s approval is always required before quitting Pradaxa.

5. Spinal issues

Pradaxa may increase the risk of some spinal surgeries, such as:

  • Epidural sedation. In order to do this, a tiny tube (catheter) must be inserted into the space behind your spinal cord, or epidural space. Then, a catheter can be used to infuse painkillers. It is typically required for surgeries involving the belly, legs, or feet, as well as childbirth. 
  • A spinal puncture. To identify or treat particular medical disorders, this can be required. A needle is inserted into the spine to accomplish this. A lumbar puncture may be required to diagnose brain infections and check for brain hemorrhage, among other circumstances.

Pradaxa increases the risk that these treatments will result in spinal hemorrhage. There could be serious repercussions, such as long-term or permanent paralysis. There is a boxed warning for this risk on the medicine label for Pradaxa.

Your medical professional or surgeon can suggest quitting Pradaxa prior to your treatment in order to prevent this complication. If doing this is advised, you should confirm the precise steps to take. Never stop taking Pradaxa without consulting your medical professional beforehand. Depending on the surgery and your unique situation, there is no set period of time before stopping Pradaxa.

When should I get in touch with my doctor concerning Pradaxa’s side effects?

If you take Pradaxa with food, you may be able to handle any moderate GI side effects you are having at home. If it doesn’t work, discuss your options with your healthcare professional. Call your provider as soon as you notice any bleeding symptoms. Seek emergency attention if you are bleeding excessively or if you are extremely ill. Severe headaches, bloody vomit or coughing, or persistent bleeding of any kind may be examples of this.

Our commitment to your health goes beyond just providing medication. At Better You Rx Pharmacy, we prioritize your well-being by offering personalized consultations and guidance to ensure that you’re on the right path to optimal health. With our experienced team of pharmacists, cutting-edge technology, and unwavering dedication, we strive to enhance your quality of life.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the future of health with Pradaxa. Take the step towards a healthier you by choosing Better You Rx Pharmacy as your trusted healthcare partner. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to empower you on your journey to a better life.

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