I am about to start pradaxa( dabigatran) an... - AF Association

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I am about to start pradaxa( dabigatran) any advice?


I am about to start taking pradaxa, I have the box next to me. I have decided it would be better to take the first one tomorrow morning. Would be grateful for some info on how people get on with this drug.

27 Replies

Sorry I can't comment on Dabigatran but I am taking one of the other new novel anticoagulants, Rivaoxaban. Not sure about your drug but I am told by a consultant hematologist that I should take mine with food as it aids absorption into the system. I choose to take mine in the evening, Rivaoxaban is a once a day dose. I seem to think yours is twice a day but could be wrong.

I have not had any side effects in the time I have taken it, now 12 months. I know there is currently no antidote as there is with Warfarin but the same hematologist said one is in development. As they have a short life in the system you need to take them to instruction and without fail or you would not be anticoagulated. In case of a bleed there are things medics can do I have been assured.

Good luck and hops it proves a good drug for you.


Why wait. Since it is a twice a day drug you need to start now. Take it at the same times every day to get into a routine.


I was a bit worried in case I get a problem best tackled in the morning. I am having a clotting blood test on Monday so it should show it's working. I think I am reading too much on the internet about people getting internal bleeding.. Too much knowledge is sometimes counter productive!

CDreamer in reply to Lucybod

I am on Dabigatron, I would advise taking with or after food as I think it gave me very bad indigestion when I took before meals and drink plenty of water with it. Take it at regular times at 12 hourly intervals. I am not concerned with internal bleeding as it seems to have a better record than warfarin for brain bleeds , which are the ones you really need to worry about. There was a lot of stuff on the internet, mostly scare stuff from USA. When you read the class action reports it seemed to me that much of it was overhyped for monetary compensation. I find the convenience of not having INR tests, as we travel a lot, much preferable. I do carry a card with the info on wherever I go in case of accident to ensure that medics would have that info.

I've been taking it for a couple of years now and it still upsets my stomach at times. What I have found is that you should drink a full glass of water (or two) when you take it since it helps calm the effects of the acid. For me, about 80% of the stomach distress calmed down after the first 90 days on it. Good luck.

Have now been on Pradaxa 150mg twice daily. The first I have prior to porridge and the last before bedtime. Thankfully no problems so far.

The main concern that any of us have is the 12 hr wait for clotting of the blood, which can become a little scary at times. Wherever I go I always make sure I carry a warning card that I have created myself, indicating GP' s / EP's information ( gives me peace of mind). Plus have warning by steering wheel in car indicating where details are in case (Heaven forbid) am involved in car crash.

So to a great degree plain sailing (had TIA) before being prescribed Pradaxa.


I have ordered a bracelet with the drug name on and I will have a necklace as well. It's a good idea to put the info in the car as well. I am going to take the first one tomorrow with food and a very large glass of water!

My main concern with the novel anti-coags is irrational perhaps, but that's me.

How do you know it's working? GERD for example can have a significant effect on Dabigatran.

Warfarin may have its disadvantages but an in-range INR reading is wonderfully reassuring.

Hidden in reply to RobertELee

That's exactly what I think. So I asked my nurse who said they do tests when you first start, and then they just know from huge trials that the drug works. I didn't find that reply re-assuring in any way at all I have to say. Glad to stay on Warfarin and have regular tests.

So how did it go?


Hi Lucy

My advice? open mouth put in tablet and swallow with water....

Why wait? Think about the alternatives, not the medication.

Be well


Lucybod in reply to Beancounter

I have put off being anti coagulated till now. You are all very persuasive you know:)

BeancounterVolunteer in reply to Lucybod

Hi Lucy

Glad to hear it, if you ever hesitate as to why you need it, simply type Stroke Victims into Google and then hit images

Nothing makes me take my warfarin quicker if I am honest

Good luck


PS I have never had a clotting test and am not in the least bit concerned.

I have been taking Pradaxa now for 10 months with no problems. I take one after breakfast and one after tea. I had surgery 6 months ago and the surgeon was concerned about the Pradaxa as she hadn't come across it before in someone needing an operation. So to make sure everything was ok she had me add admitted to hospital 4 days before my operation so that she could do tests because on this drug INR tests are not done. She was quite amazed at the results and everything went ahead. If anyone having surgery Warferin is stopped 3 days before the surgery, with Pradaxa it is 24 hours only. I have to say that I feel great taking Pradaxa and even better not having to have any more INR tests.

Hidden in reply to stokenorth

I had an ablation last year and EP put my Warfarin dose up and I didn't come off it at all. Had to get to an INR of 3 - 4.


Took first one this morning after having yoghurt and fruit and a cup of tea. Took it as instructed with a full glass of water, drank another half a glass to be sure. Feel ok, just played badminton!

I am having coag test with other blood tests on Monday. So it should check if it's ok. So far so good.

barbm in reply to Lucybod

Hi Lucy. I am new to this group and have been reading all I can about Pradaxa. How has it been for you. I am weighing the pros and cons of warfrin and Pradaxa. We travel alot and end up eating out so I am leaning towards Pradaxa. Your experiences would be helpful. Thanks


Lucybod in reply to barbm

Hi barbm

I have be taking Pradaxa for about a month. So far I haven't had any side effects. I make sure I drink a glass of water when I take the pill. They tell you to do that anyway. I have banged my leg on the car door and there was a biggish bruise but I think I would have got that anyway. I have cut my finger as well and it's stopped bleeding quite quickly. That's what I was worried about but it's been ok so far. I have a rubber braclet and a necklace with the name of the drug and my blood group. I wanted to take one of the new anti coagulants because there is no messing about with blood tests. I did have one at the start as a baseline and the GP said he wants me to have one in eight weeks just to checkpoint all is ok. So far I would say it's been good. I have read that there is an antidote being tested so that is comforting. Hope that is helpful.


CDreamer in reply to Lucybod

Just to say that an INR test will not tell you or your GP anything about how well the Dabigatran is working because it works in a completely different way to Warfarin.

barbm in reply to Lucybod

Thanks Lucy for your input. It is encouraging. At first I was totally against taking warfrin because I have such a hard time giving blood and I just couldn't see being able to do that as often as was required. Then I found out I could get a finger prick for the blood test. But I am not sure how I would do with trying to keep those levels at the right spot. It is hard enough for me to keep my blood pressure and blood sugar in the right numbers. And that probably would be more stressful for me.

So...Pradaxa seems to be the choice. But then there is that big BUT about no anecdote for the bleeding but it does go out of your body faster. So I don't really know what to think about that. But perhaps I should just NOT worry about that since the other statistics seem to be equal. It is all very scary. Thanks again.

CDreamer in reply to barbm

Hi Barb I have been taking Pradaxa now for about 6 months. The only difficulty I ever had was when I took it on an empty stomach and didn't drink enough water with it, as Lucy says it is important to do that. I had very bad indigestion and heartburn and had to take meds for that for a few days, but once I had figured that out it was fine.

barbm in reply to CDreamer

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate all the information I can get.

I have been on it for four months.No problems,occasional indigestion,take with plenty of water.I wear a tag on my man wrist chain with brief details.

I have been on Pradaxa for nearly two years, as I travel and work around the world it gives me flexibility to do so. I had blood and urine tests recently to make sure all was OK and all was well. Take after eating, the only side effect is if I drink too much alcohol I get stomach problems the next day, so that now controls my alcohol intake!

Going for an arthroscopy in June, my cardiologist recommends stopping Pradaxa 48 hours beforehand and replace with injections of Clexane every 12 hours until the morning of the procedure.


G'day Lucybod, and all you other guys and gals,

Not into or interested in Pradaxa (unless warfarin fails me of course which I can't see likely) and noting all your comments so far - thought I'd throw in a resource document which you may find interesting - not internet drivel/crap but an authoritative release by the Australian Government, Dept of Health, Theraputic Goods Administration. Put Theraputic Goods Administration into your search box. When the website comes up type in the websites search box Pradaxa - search read and inwardly digest. BE INFORMED !

May the force be with you all.

Cheers, Aussie John


I forgot to say once into TGA website go into database of adverse event notifications - interesting. Again, be informed.

Aussie John

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