Pradaxa vs. Coumadin

Are Pradaxa and Coumadin the Same Thing?

Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Coumadin (warfarin) are anticoagulants used to prevent blood clots to reduce or prevent the chance of developing heart attacks (myocardial infarctions), strokes, and venous and other blood clots (deep venous thromboses, pulmonary emboli and thrombi produced with atrial fibrillation). They are also used to treat these conditions if they develop.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Pradaxa?

Pradaxa may cause serious side effects, including:

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Pradaxa including:

  • severe heartburn,
  • nausea, or
  • vomiting.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Coumadin?

Common side effects of Coumadin include:

  • easy bruising and bleeding,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • bloating,
  • gas, or
  • altered sense of taste

What is Pradaxa?

Pradaxa is a prescription blood thinner medicine that lowers the chance of blood clots forming in your body. Pradaxa is used to:

  • reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have a medical condition called atrial fibrillation. With atrial fibrillation, part of the heart does not beat the way it should. This can lead to blood clots forming and increase your risk of a stroke.
  • treat blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) and reduce the risk of them occurring again.
  • to help prevent blood clots in the legs and lungs of people who have just had hip replacement surgery.

Pradaxa is not for use in people with artificial (prosthetic) heart valves.

It is not known if Pradaxa is safe and works in children.

What is Coumadin?

Coumadin is prescription medicine used to treat blood clots and to lower the chance of blood clots forming in your body. Blood clots can cause a stroke, heart attack, or other serious conditions if they form in the legs or lungs.

It is not known if Coumadin is safe and effective in children.


Stroke Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Pradaxa?

Pradaxa may interact with antibiotics, St. John's wort, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and antifungal medications.

Pradaxa may also interact with heart or blood pressure medication, HIV/AIDS medicine, or medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection.

What Drugs Interact With Coumadin?

Coumadin may interact with antibiotics, St. John's wort, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and antifungal medications.

Coumadin may also interact with other medications to prevent blood clots, sulfa drugs, medicines to treat tuberculosis, antidepressants, herbal (botanical) products (including coenzyme Q10, cranberry, echinacea, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, or goldenseal), secobarbital, barbiturates, and seizure medications.

How Should Pradaxa Be Taken?

  • Your doctor will decide how long you should take Pradaxa. Do not stop taking Pradaxa without first talking with your doctor. Stopping Pradaxa may increase your risk of having a stroke or forming blood clots.
  • Take Pradaxa exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Take Pradaxa capsules twice a day (approximately every 12 hours).
  • 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.
  • Swallow Pradaxa capsules whole. Do not break, chew, or empty the pellets from the capsule.
  • You can take Pradaxa with or without food.
  • You should take Pradaxa with a full glass of water.
  • Do not run out of Pradaxa. Refill your prescription before you run out. If you plan to have surgery, or a medical or a dental procedure, tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking Pradaxa. You may have to stop taking Pradaxa for a short time.
  • If you take too much Pradaxa, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call your doctor.
  • Call your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head. Your doctor or healthcare provider may need to check you.
  • Pradaxa comes in a bottle or in a blister package.
  • Only open 1 bottle of Pradaxa at a time. Finish your opened bottle of Pradaxa before opening a new bottle.
  • After opening a bottle of Pradaxa, use within 4 months.
  • When it is time for you to take a dose of Pradaxa, only remove your prescribed dose of Pradaxa from your open bottle or blister package.
  • Tightly close your bottle of Pradaxa right away after you take your dose

How Should Coumadin Be Taken?

  • Take Coumadin exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider will adjust your dose from time to time depending on your response to Coumadin.
  • You must have regular blood tests and visits with your healthcare provider to monitor your condition.
  • If you miss a dose of Coumadin, call your healthcare provider. Take the dose as soon as possible on the same day. Do not take a double dose of Coumadin the next day to make up for a missed dose.
    • Call your healthcare provider right away if you:
    • take too much Coumadin
    • are sick with diarrhea, an infection, or have a fever
    • fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head. Your healthcare provider may need to check you


What is a stroke? See Answer

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Pradaxa Product Monograph.
FDA. Coumadin Product Monograph.

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