NOACS (dabigatran) side effects?: Hello all I... - AF Association

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NOACS (dabigatran) side effects?


Hello all

I had a successful CV about 9 weeks ago (fingers crossed) and the only drug I now is Dabigatran.

As a regular reader of the forum I've started to realise that most if you who are taking NOACS are taking something different... and I'm wondering why and if any if you can give me some advice as although generally well I now have a much reduced appetite and also bouts if nausea every few nights (in the middle if the night usually) which leave me sleepless and feeling almost "hungover" next day. Previously I had put this down to anxiety but I now wonder if the Dabigatran may be to blame?

Does anyone have any similar experience and can recommend an alternative anti-coagulant and/or tell me to get a grip! My GP isn't keen to start me on Warfarin as there is some hope that in a few months I may be able to stop anti coags altogether ( for which I should be grateful) the meantime though I'm struggling with work and family commitments on the bad days.

Thank you !


10 Replies

Since stopping the antacid which was prescribed for the first 2 months of dabigatran I have had no problems at all with it. I take it at breakfast time and at about 8pm with a biscuit and a cup of tea. I don't think it should be taken on an empty stomach.

Perrylees in reply to jennydog

Thanks Jennydog.

I can't say I've noticed any pattern with this - but maybe I should be a bit more vigilanat and make sure that I take the tablets with or after food & see if it makes any difference. I had an idea that I would ask my GP if I could try one of the other NOACS but looking them up nausea seems to be a univeral potential side effect!!


Perrylees in reply to Perrylees

or even universal!

Please see my post re Rivaroxaban. Most people don't get any symptoms but I guess as with everything, what suits one does not suit another. Good luck.

Hi cicek. I did see your post yes - which was what made me check the reported side effects for all the anti-coagulants..... You're definitely right - we are all different! With me the nausea isn't every day so perhaps it is worth making sure that we take the meds with food as Jennydog suggests and trying to establish a pattern. I haven't had indigestion but I do sometimes feel quite light headed. This was worse when I was on beta blockers as well and I do have naturally quite low blood pressure so I have mainly put it down to that.....have you had yours checked? There always seems to be something!!

Hope you soon feel better


I'll throw in my two pennyworth on the third NOAC, apixaban. I was told some time back by a registrar that dabigatran worked best in an acidic gut and taking omeprazole or the like, which I do, might reduce it's effectiveness. In deciding to take apixaban I looked at as many of the stats as possible including the Aristotle trial and of the three it seemed to come out best of all in terms of stroke reduction accompanied by the lowest number of major bleed episodes. It was my EP's 'NOAC of choice' too though he did say that the major rivaroxaban trial had had a larger proportion of high risk folk in the test sample so that might have skewed the result somewhat. To be fair there isn't a huge amount between any of the three but even a 'single' less adverse result might apply to me! Having to take it twice a day however was a 'downer' on Rivaroxaban which only has to be taken once but I have a nice loud double alarm on my watch set for 0900 and 2100, so remembering to take it is really not a problem. I always have two tablets in a pill box in the car too, just in case I am, unplanned, away from home. I understand that's not so practical with dabigatran which must be kept inside its blister pack and has a shorter shelf life (shelf life, not half life).

Touch wood, I have had no side effects from apixaban yet and gosh the whole thing is just so much better than the 'warfarin process'. Again, to be fair, I was a bit of a worrier when it came to INR testing and after a week away from the clinic, I was busting for another blood test. The only problem with NOACs of course is that without those reassuring INR checks, we have to take it on trust that they are doing the business. There's no pleasing me!

All in all though, no regrets.

Thanks. All very interesting as usual. I was just given Dabigatran - no choice, no discussion and no indication of anybody the side effects from my GP. To be honest I was in such a state of shock at the time that I don't think i would have argued much anyway!!

It was only through this forum that I learned about the 'no antidote' worry and possible other side effects but as you say there is probably not much to chose between them all at the end of the analysis.

I haven't found taking them twice a day to be too much of an issue but I am going to be more sensible about taking with food & hope that makes a difference.


I'm very happy with Rivaroxaban too. I'm assuming it's doing it's job as I bruise very easily. No real problems with cuts though - found that one out last weekend when I sliced my finger with my new chopping knife!!

Came across this document yesterday at a local support group meeting. Thought it would prove useful to members of this forum. There is a wealth of information, although some of it is too technical for me. This thread seems an appropriate place to put it. Click on the link to find FAQ's on oral anti-coagulants.

Bedtime reading?


Thanks Cyril - very interesting though I certainly don't understand all the terminology!

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