AF Association
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Shortage of Dabigatran?

I have learnt to plan ahead with our favourite highstreet pharmacist,(UK) regarding submitting my monthly prescription for Dabigatran x 150mg.(Pradaxa).I did this last Wednesday and was told it would be here for Friday.

I went today,Saturday,to collect the prescription and was told that due to manufacturing issues there wholesaler/supplier had run-out and they only had 4 capsules on the premises!

Has anyone also heard this?

The advice I was given was to contact my GP to ask for an alternative NOAC which I will try to do on Monday,but this has raised some thoughts that hopefully some of you maybe able to help me with.

If I'm given the luxuary of choice between Riveroxaban or Apixaban surely there is no great difference between the two?

Can changes of NOAC's be seemless,just stop one,start another,or would there be tests pre or post to taking a new one?

I have found taking a NOAC for anti-coagulation convenient and wonder where I stand if my GP should offer Warfaran.Just on the convenience issue could I decline Warfaran?

Thanking you all.


7 Replies

There are some quite important differences between the various NOACs I suggest the pharmacy 'does not know' its rivoroxaban from its Apixaban. ....surprising ignorance but people on this site have recently been commenting on not too dissimilar problems.Go back to your GP because you have no alternative.There are often shortages I find in various drugs over the last year or two and I have an excellent independent pharmacy ....not keen on the high street chains.

1 like

There is no easy answer, but this link gives the research overview

For myself, I like the once daily dose regime for rivoroxaban and the fact it's easier to swallow than dabigatran (and I had a dvt and pulmonary embolism while on dabigatran)

I'm sure there will be other anecdotes and your gp may have to prescribe according to your local guidelines, but you shouldn't need to go to warfarin


Some time back there was a glitch in the supply of Flecainide because of manufacturing relocation. Shopping around various pharmacies worked for some people and it might be worth a try.

Would your GP be willing to prescribe 2 months at a time as that can give a little wriggle room if supplies are temporarily short? I keep a 'float supply' of all my drugs too, just in case.


If you are talking about Boots - they also have inherent faults in their own script handling and supply chain, unless you order your meds in advanced, on a repeat order.

I recently changed to my local independant pharmacist after encountering the same problem with Apixaban and because of increasing problems of misinformation, inability to supply meds within 10 days of receiving script, losing or just forgetting to fulfill and various other.

As I used to work for the comapany - many, many moons ago - I was more than patient and tolerant for too long. One med I take took so long to obtain (granted there was a national shortage) I was rationing my tablets and became quite ill because of it.

I now see the same pharmacist every time who knows me because he took the time to get to know me, and has really gone that extra mile in the last few weeks of encountering eye problems.


My local independent pharmacist was also short of dabigatran when I took my prescription in. Fortunately I had sufficient for the following ten days or so. I'm hoping he will have some for me tomorrow. He commented that we "are not importing enough of it at the moment".


I have chatted to our excellent Boots Pharmacist re shortages and she said there are always some drugs they have to ring round to find ( not always the same ones!) I get two brands of flecainide and warfarin depending what's available and cheapest I suspect)


I take Apixaban with no side effects. I can't take warfarin as I have had Pancreatitis.


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