Pradaxa: I posted earlier about getting the... - AF Association

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Gracey23 profile image

I posted earlier about getting the flu and experiencing more than normal episodes of PAF. Just spoke with Cardiology nurse and she said it's imperative that I start the Pradaxa prescription I picked up last week. I've been putting off starting the medication because I'm so afraid of it. I took it and I'm feeling more protected but also afraid of what it's doing to my body. I'm not one to like taking medicine. The only medication I take regularly is 300 mgs daily of Flecanaide. I'd love to hear from anyone on this forum taking Pradaxa and tell me how you are feeling. Very anxious , Gracey 

46 Replies

My cardiologist explained that Pradraxa was my life raft incase anything went wrong with my condition of AF. Even though I am back in NSR. after a CV I will take this for the rest of my life. I wear an SOS necklace incase I am in a car crash or bang my head, but I have no side effects.

BobD profile image

I would be much more afraid of what would happen to my body if I did NOT take the anticoagulants Gracey ! You can always stop taking it but you can never undo a stroke and AF related strokes are amongst 80% of the least recoverable. Please don't even think about not taking it even if you do experience any side effects which should in any case subside after a couple of weeks as your body gets used to it. Remember that stroke risk is with you now , five times the normal risk even if your AF episodes are few and far between. It is not dependent on frequency or length of event so please pop those pills and be safe.


Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to BobD

Bob, you and the people on this forum are the reason I started Pradaxa. My EP didn't initiate the conversation at my last visit. After reading so many posts about stroke risk I asked him why I'm not on an anticoagulant. He responded saying he didn't feel I have enough risks but that having just turned 66 that did give me a risk. Anyway, the journey continues! Thank you for your excellent advice, Gracey 

Lizty profile image
Lizty in reply to Gracey23

Yes Gracey... my cardio said I was borderline.... 66 and female is chad 2.  So better start now, I thought, to give time to acclimatise!

If you are in AF then your risks of stroke without Pradaxa or another anticoagulant are very much higher, please heed the very excellent and consistent advice from your nurse and posts here. 

I hated taking it but I did, just ensure you take it with a full glass of water, always with food but ensure the food is not a carbohydrate and take it at a regular time.  The worst side effect is indigestion - Pradaxa requires an acid stomach content to dissolve the gel capsule, taking with carbs will alter the ph levels raising the risk of acid reflux.  That is the worst that will happen.

PS Pradaxa is far more benign drug than Flecainide, in my opinion.

Bagrat profile image
Bagrat in reply to CDreamer

CDreamer  had the feeling you might say that! Flecainide suits me though I have read about all the possibilities.

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to CDreamer

I know that for sure! The Flecanaide has caused me many side effects. Now that I'm on an anticoagulant I'm going to start taking the Flecanaide as PIP. I very much want to see if I start feeling better without it. My EP nurse told me I will feel lots of palpitations when coming off, been on med for over ten years! Gracey

Why are you taking pradaxa?  Warfarin has virtually no side effects.

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to tony85

Tony, I chose Pradaxa because there is no blood testing which for me is great. The information I read also said there is lower risk of brain bleeds with Pradaxa. Just took my second dose so will see how it goes, Gracey 

CDreamer gave me excellent advice about Pradaxa needing an acid stomach. I was prescribed antacids with it which is all wrong.

I have been talking it for over 18 months with no difficulty. There is an antidote called Praxbind but it's anybody's guess about its availability.

Never put the Pradaxa capsule on to a damp surface. It will dissolve in a flash releasing hundreds of tiny white balls which taste absolutely VILE.

Be grateful that you are now liberated from the tedium of regular testing. Just get your kidney function checked in 12 months time.

Best wishes.

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to jennydog

Thanks for all the info. The pharmacist told me I could Pepsid which is an over the counter medication . The active ingredient in it is , famotidine. I do suffer with acid reflux so I am very concerned about Pradaxa upsetting my stomach. Any other information you can give me will be very appreciated, thanks, Gracey

Healthtime profile image
Healthtime in reply to Gracey23

Had heartburn with Pradaxa.  My doc switched me to another med -- Eliquis.  The advantage of Pradaxa is that there is an antidote.  Found this article from a doc which discusses the blood thinners.

I tried pradaxa but it made me sick within an hour so put on rivaroxaban (xarelto). Absolutely fine. No side effects.  The new generation of anti coags so much better than warfarin. No constant inr tests. And I was in hospital for a week with a nosebleed on warfarin.  

Gracey, you need to take Pradaxa as prescribed. Anyone in AF, requires as default to have an anti coag, until, all heart rhythms, aarrythmias are investigated, treated and brought under control. I have been on it for one year, I had no issues that I am aware of. I am coming back off it today, because my other medication regimes are now doing the job they are supposed to. I will go back on it at age 65. 

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to maxred1

Maxred, why is your Dr allowing you to come off? I thought that once on its forever? , Gracey

maxred1 profile image
maxred1 in reply to Gracey23

Well she told CHAD2 score is zero, and therefore the risk from internal bleed due to taking anti coag is greater, also a major bleed say through an accident, so she has asked me to come off. Pradaxa, being a new strain of anti coag means I can come off quickly, but I am taking it every alternate day for a week, then stop a.together. I will get a yearly monitor through my GP.

maxred1 profile image
maxred1 in reply to maxred1

Sorry, this is from my Cardiologist, not the GP

Hi .. I have been on Pradxa now for 3 years now  I have even had surgery while on it. I have had no trouble at all, as long as you take it as it says with a full glass of water. 

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to stokenorth

Stokenorth, I was so nervous taking first dose that I drank 3 glasses! Thanks, Gracey 

I'd be much more afraid of Flecainide, long term.......

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to RobertELee

RobertELee, I agree! Now on Pradaxa I'm ready to take the Flecanaide as PIP. I've been on the drug for ten years and would love to cut back, Thanks, Gracey 

Flaka profile image
Flaka in reply to Gracey23

I take Pradaxa but no longer take flecanaide as i switched doctors and new one says beta blocker works better for some so I take Coreg 3.175mg twice daily and Pradaxa 75mg twice daily and the coreg seems to keep my A Fib under control.  When I do have an episode my heart rate never get much higher then 100.

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to Flaka

Flaka, I took a beta blocker years ago when I was first diagnosed with PAF. I had to stop because my HR slowed to 30 beats per minute which was dangerous. I was put on Flecanaide and now that I'm on Pradaxa I want to try PIP because I'm having lots of side effects. Thanks for sharing your protocol , and good health to you. 

Having taken pradaxa for more than 2 years I haven't noticed any side effects, and that's taking several other types of medication with it. Good health.  

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to davee

Davee, Good Health to you too, Gracey 

300mg of flecanide is a hefty dose. If you are not experiencing any side effe ts from that then you are extremely lucky. So taking the additional drug should be a walk in the park.

I've been on Pradaxa Dabigatran since November 2013....300mg a day.  I've not been aware of any side effects at all.  Saves going for a needle jab every 4 weeks or so, which usually involved leaving work, driving to the hospital, sitting in the waiting room, having a lovely needle stuck in you and driving back to work.

The advice I have seen on here is to wash down the tablet with a full glass of water to get it down...saves heartburn apparently, something I've not experienced.

To be honest I'd be more anxious about the risk of stroke than taking the tablet.

In short: not anxious at all...only when I forget to take it :-)

Hello Gracey,

I have PAF like you,17yrs now.

I am taking 300mg Flecainide prescribed by Cardiologist,only when an episode comes on,which could be every other month or once year or miss a year or a run at once a week,it is intermittent,which PAF means,we are not living with it all the time.

So I use  Flecainide as Pill in the pocket which works very well for me.within 40mins to 2hrs my heart is back in rythm.

I am on anticoagulant Rivaroxaban 20mg daily,taking this now for 2yrs,no problems,and feel so much better not worrying about AF Strokes.

Keep well,


Eleanor, now that I'm on anticoagulant I'm going to try the Flecanaide as PIP. I also have PAF . Do you feel any side effects from taking the high dose all at once? Gracey


I don't have any problem taking Flecainide as Pip.

I did when on it every day,thought I was going out of my mind.Cardiologist  said daily helps some patients more,but I started having episodes every week.Since taking it as  pip,I have not had an episode since a year past March,fingers crossed,hope it helps you too please let me know how you go.

Take care,


Eleanor, thank you for your reply. I'm going to try the Flecanaide as PIP. After ten years it will be great if I can get my life back. Worth a try! I have the flu right now unfortunately so will stop med when feeling better. I'll let you know how I get on, Gracey

I'm in exactly the same situation. I delayed starting Pradaxa because of bronchitis & sinus infection.  I am now 5 days in, & so far so good.  I'm taking it with food & a full glass of water.  I do have a question regarding timing.  My breakfast & dinner are not quite 12 hours apart.  It's much easier to stay on schedule if I take the Pradixa with meals, but I'm not sure how much flexibility I have regarding timing.  

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to Ialla

Lalla, I was told to take it every twelve hours and that it's imperative to not miss a dose. I just took my second dose with a glass of water and now having my morning protein shake. Thank you for sharing your journey with me, it's so nice to know we are all this together, Gracey

Ialla profile image
Ialla in reply to Ialla

I'm not missing doses, but I've been taking it about 11 hours apart rather than 12.  I should probably ask my GP or EP - I'm just not sure how exact it must be.  Perhaps I should have breakfast before I walk the dog.  Pradaxa does scare me, & I've had not symptoms since the 20 hour episode three weeks ago.  My heart & general health are otherwise good, other than controlled HBP.  Grateful for this forum.

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to Ialla

Lalla, I would check with your EP about timing. I hope your dog agrees to  wait for his walk! Please let us know how you are getting on and yes I agree, this forum is life changing, Gracey 

My cardiologist only put me on aspirin, which is not recommended but I didnt question him until I had my second a fib event a couple weeks ago. I calked his office and asked to be put on an anticoagulant, which they did. There is no question in my mind stroke or chance of bleeding with an accident. My answer is take the meds and quit stressing over the "what ifs", as a fib is stressful enough. 

Gracey23 profile image
Gracey23 in reply to

Hoski, I agree. Thank you, Gracey 

I have a coag meter so wafarin is my choice. I have never had any side effects. My cardio was worried about the long term effects of the new drugs and would not prescribe them!

Alemo27 profile image
Alemo27 in reply to tony85

What long term side effect might be?

These drugs are quite new and have not been used for very long. So no-one knows the long term side effects.

I've taken it for 5 years with no noticeable side effects. It has done great job thinning my blood after earlier stroke due Afib.

I have been taking Pradaxa since 11/2011 & have not had any problems with it. I was worried about taking it also but thank God I've had no side affects from it.

If you are having problems with pradaxa you could always ask to be put on one of the other NOACs as I understand some are less of a problem with stomach issues.

Hi I've been on the NOAC`s (Apixaban) just over a year now having been prescribed this in Tenerife whilst on holiday!

Reading recently in a paper they have been developed and tested over the last 20yrs! 

Much of Europe seems to favour this type of medication,with Apixaban coming out the best for control and minimal side effects!

Can't remember where I read this but I'll keep looking and post the link!

Hi Gracey, I've taken 2 x 150mg of Pradaxa for the last 2 years after suffering a stroke and then being diagnosed with PAF. (AF being the cause of the stroke). As far as I'm aware Pradaxa is a like for like replacement for taking Warfarin and I've not suffered any ill affects at all other than sometimes I experience cold hands. So please don't worry. I take a combination of Pradaxa first thing and last thing at night together with blood pressure and 2 x 100mg of flecainide tablets.

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