Pradaxa is an oral anticoagulant that is used as an alternative to warfarin. Warfarin is usually the first choice for anticoagulants, but Pradaxa is sometimes preferred due to the fact that it doesn't require frequent blood tests to be performed. The two drugs are equally effective, but Pradaxa's anticoagulant effects cannot be reversed. Doctors must consider the pros and cons of each medicine when prescribing.
According to a 2004 study, Pradaxa is safe at doses ranging from as little as 12.5 milligrams all the way up to 300 milligrams twice a day. It has been shown to have a safety profile much like that of enoxaparin at doses of 150 milligrams and 220 milligrams once daily when used to prevent thrombosis.
Fatty foods delay the absorption of Pradaxa into the system. Blood concentrations, however, are unaffected once absorption is complete. Proton pump inhibitors, often used to treat acid reflux conditions, can also interfere with absorption somewhat. Conversely, some of these inhibitors can also hinder Pradaxa's clearance from the body and result in increased plasma levels of the anticoagulant.
There have been two notable major studies of Pradaxa. The first, known as RE-LY, compared the safety and efficacy of the drug compared to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. The drugs were found equally effective when 110 milligrams of Pradaxa was given, but Pradaxa was found superior to warfarin at 150 milligrams twice a day. At the higher dosage, unwanted bleeding occurred at about the same rate for both drugs.
The next study, called RE-COVER, compared Pradaxa to warfarin in patients with acute venous thromboembolism. In this condition, which involves blood clots forming in veins, patients taking Pradaxa suffered fewer minor bleeding events. An increase in dyspepsia, however, apparently led to a higher discontinuation rate for patients who had been taking Pradaxa.
Since Pradaxa is highly sensitive to humidity, its bottles are made with a desiccant built into the cap. Even so, the bottled version expires only 30 days after the bottle is opened. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing evidence that the medicine can retain potency for up to 60 days after opening if the original bottle is used and the drug is handled properly.
Fortunately, blister packs of Pradaxa are also available. These packs have a much longer shelf life since each pill has its own sealed blister. The individual pills are never exposed to humidity until their own blisters are opened.
Pradaxa: Serious Side Effects
According to recent reports, a large amount of patients taking Pradaxa have suffered from serious internal bleeding side effects. Early reports indicate that several hundred patients have died as a result of these internal bleeding side effects.
TOOK PRADAXA AND SUFFERED FROM INTERNAL BLEEDING?
If you have taken Pradaxa and suffered from internal bleeding, you may be entitled to collect significant financial compensation. To find out if you have a case, contact our expert Pradaxia side effect lawyers for a free no obligation consultation by completing the form on this page or calling 1-800-905-2751.