Pradaxa (generic name: Dabigatran Etexilate) is a drug which is prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients who have a medical condition called atrial fibrillation. Dabigatran Etexilate is a blood thinner medicine and works by thinning the blood, which reduces the risk of blood clots forming in your body. Pradaxa acts by inhibiting thrombin, which is an enzyme in the blood that is involved in blood clotting. It belongs to the group of drugs called anticoagulants. Atrial fibrillation is a type of abnormal heart rhythm which can lead to many complications including heart failure and stroke. The risk of stroke increases in patients with atrial fibrillation because the blood can pool and form clots in the atria. Using a blood thinner such as Pradaxa can help to avoid such blood clots occurring, thus reducing the risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation is usually noticed by symptoms similar to an increase in heart rate. Patients with a rapid or irregular heart rate may misinterpret the symptoms as palpitations and difficulty with exercise. Changes in the heart rate can occasionally produce angina, which is pain in the chest due to irregularities with the heart. The safety and effectiveness of Pradaxa were studied in a clinical trial comparing Pradaxa with warfarin, another anticoagulant (blood thinner). In the clinical trials, patients taking Pradaxa had fewer strokes than those who took warfarin.
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Pradaxa Side Effects:
As with any drug, there may be side effects from taking Pradaxa including indigestion, upset stomach and burning stomach pain. More serious side effects may include trouble breathing, feeling dizzy or faint, changes in heartbeat and allergic reactions which can include symptoms such as swelling on the face, mouth or lips, itchy red skin and chest pain or chest tightness. If you experience any side effects you must seek medical attention immediately for safety.
You should follow the instructions of the doctor who prescribed Pradaxa to you. Directions and dosage information can also be found on the pack or leaflet inside the pack. Pradaxa comes in capsule form. You should swallow Pradaxa whole with a glass of water. Do not open, break or chew capsules as they are designed to release the drug at a specific rate. Opening the capsules by chewing or breaking may result in too much of the drug being released at once which can have undesirable effects. Pradaxa should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat.
If you are allergic to any of the ingredients of Pradaxa, you should avoid taking it and inform your doctor. You must consult your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions including liver or kidney disease or disorders, bleeding disorder, stomach ulcer, . You must consult your doctor if you are taking any other medications as they may interact with Pradaxa, including rifampin, aspirin, NSAIDs, warfarin, medicines containing heparin, clopidogrel, prasugrel and any other blood thinners. It is important that you inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding as Pradaxa may cause harm to unborn and new born babies. Pradaxa can cause bleeding which can be fatal, and you may be at higher risk of bleeding if you are over age 75 or have any of the medical conditions mentioned previously.
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