Pradaxa (dabigatran) is a “blood thinner” prescribed to prevent stroke by preventing the formation of blood clots. When Pradaxa was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October, 2010, doctors and patients were excited to have an alternative to warfarin. Now it turns out that Pradaxa can cause severe, irreversible bleeding and death.

Pradaxa Side Effects

Dangerous and deadly side effects of Pradaxa can include:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Spontaneous internal bleeding
  • Bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke)
  • Excessive bleeding from trauma
  • Heart attack
  • Acute coronary syndrome

Why Pradaxa is so Dangerous

The fact that Pradaxa can cause spontaneous bleeding and excessive bleeding in the event of trauma is not unusual for an anticoagulant drug. But, for older blood thinners, such as warfarin, there are antidotes, or reversal agents, which can be administered in the emergency room to quickly get the bleeding under control.

There is no reversal agent for Pradaxa and no way to quickly stop the bleeding.

Pradaxa is removed from the body by the kidneys, so dialysis treatment can be used to speed up removal of the drug, but that only removes about 60% of the drug and it takes hours just to accomplish that much. Obviously, a person can bleed to death long before the process is complete.

Pradaxa Advantages Not What They Seem

Many doctors rejoiced when Pradaxa became available, because it seemed that it would be much easier to prescribe than older blood thinners, and to make compliance easier for the patient.

Determining the proper dose of older anticoagulants is a painstaking process for doctors and patients. Pradaxa was supposed to be a one-size-fits-all does, but since it is removed by the kidneys, people with impaired renal function can easily wind up with too much of the drug in their systems and need a smaller dose.

Pradaxa Uses

Pradaxa is prescribed to prevent stroke by preventing the formation of blood clots in people with a heart arrhythmia called nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib).

In AFib the upper chambers of the heart beat rapidly and out of sync. This can cause blood to pool in the heart, and the stagnant blood can clot. The blood clot can then move to the brain resulting in ischemic stroke.

AFib sufferers who do not take a blood thinner are five to six times more likely to have a stroke than the general population.

Ironically, Pradaxa is very effective in preventing ischemic stroke, but it can cause a different kind of stroke called hemorrhagic stroke, which is bleeding in the brain.

If you have suffered Pradaxa injury or lost a loved one to Pradaxa bleeding, you may be entitled to compensation. Please, find a local Pradaxa injury attorney right away.