Pradaxa: Hi I have been taking Pradaxa... - AF Association

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Hi I have been taking Pradaxa (Dabigatran) for about 18 months - twice a day. I noticed immediately that I was woken during the night with stomach pains after taking the night time dose but ok by morning and after taking the morning dose I get very nauseous and migraine type headache, which wears off mid afternoon.

Does anyone else get these symptoms with Pradaxa (Dabigatran)?

I'm thinking of asking to switch my anticoagulant in case its this causing it but as I have recently been diagnosed with Kidney cancer also, I'm unsure if it could be the cancer causing my symptoms. Which as far as I know has been a silent growing tumour - unless this nausea and stomach pains were a sign.

I'm not sure how easy it is to switch anticoagulant or if its wise to do so when I am praying they are going to be able to remove my kidney in the near future.

I know this isn't a medical advice forum but I just wonder if anyone else has had these symptoms while taking Pradaxa?

31 Replies

Good to see you are still positive in attitude with all that has happened to you.Cant answer your question on switching anticoagulant but sure someone will have done it and can give you their experience.Wishing you good news on removal of kidney soon.

Surreyhunni in reply to Fastbeat

Thank you - Im still waiting for the lung tests to see if I can have the kidney removed, on a good not the cardiologist is happy for me to do so. I am in the main positive but feel like I am on death row until I know.

I hope you are keeping well x

I have been taking Pradaxa for 3 years now. It was originally prescribed along with an antacid. My stomach didn't feel at all happy and I posted on here. CDreamer advised that Pradaxa needed an acid stomach. Google confirmed it so I ditched the antacid. I have had no further problems. I take the capsules at the end of breakfast ( just jammy toast & tea ) and shortly after my evening meal so my stomach is not empty.

Very best wishes for a speedy return to good health.

Surreyhunni in reply to jennydog

Thank you Jennydog that is really helpful. I didn't know that it needed an acid stomach. I take my pradaxa at 10am and 10pm, I also take emsomeprazole around 11pm and have done for years.

I may look at changing it to a different time of day.

I used to take Pradaxa and had no side effects at all. I do think it’s fairly easy to switch to another though. Talk to your doctor and see. I started with Elliquis and felt terrible on it and switched to Pradaxa. Everyone’s different. Elliquis is once a day and you might tolerate it better. Best of luck!

Surreyhunni in reply to Jomama

Thank you - my main concern is that Pradaxa as far as I know is the only anticoagulant apart from Warfarin that has an antidote. So it weighing up the risks of that against the awful nausea and stomach pains.

Jomama in reply to Surreyhunni

I think an antidote for Elliquis is up for approval this year, but I would research that one. I hope you are able to resolve this sooner than later! Here is an article I found:

When I first started taking Pradaxa I felt very nauseous and vomited. Thank goodness it settled down. I find that if I eat anything too sweet the nausea returns. And you don’t want to get a pill get stuck going down as they burn like hell. I had pain in my esophagus for about 4 days when I didn’t drink enough water with my meds.

Surreyhunni in reply to Kresta

Thank you Kresta - I also learned the hard way about not taking enough water with the Pradaxa, not nice at all!

I take Pradaxa and I find I tolerate it - at least most of the time.

I think the capsule itself contains some 'acid' that aids it's ingestion. I used to be more careful to take it only after meals but now as long as I take it with plenty of water I'm usually OK.

I also take Lansoprozol for a sliding hernia, and have discussed a few times whether it is correct to take the Pradaxa after that or before it. It seems a bit strange that if the Pradaxa needs acidity to be ingested correctly that I take it afterwards when the other medication has lowered the acidity. I never got a convincing reply.

So sorry to hear your news about kidney cancer. I take Pradaxa and a host of other medications and luckily I have no problems. Take my morning one with breakfast and my evening one just after supper. Could never balance on Warfarin.


Surreyhunni in reply to Hylda

Thank you for replying Hylda. I don't fancy Warfarin because of having to test the INR so often etc. I have far too many medical appointments already.

I have decided after reading the replies to my post on here that I will try and adjust the time I take my Esomeprazole to see if that helps as the next step. If not I will speak to my gp about moving to a different anti-coagulant.

As far as I know, it's easy to change NOACs - my cardio took me off my first one (Xarelto) for 48 hours to check whether the unpleasant symptoms would disappear. They did, so then I started straight on Pradaxa. I only have trouble with it if I don't drink enough water when taking it - I need 1-2 mugs - and also if I take it later than about 8pm. Any later and I have stomach ache or burning in the night, so I make sure I take it early, at least a couple of hours before going to bed.

Do you take the pradaxa at 8am too? My problem with having it so early is the morning dose as I need to make sure and eat first and I never want breakfast for at least an hour or two after I get up. Hence why I chose 10am.

Two cardios that I've seen have both told me not to worry about taking it exactly 12 hours apart. They said 'we're all human . . . our lives vary from day to day . . . as long as you take it morning and evening, don't worry about the time'. So I usually take it about 8.30 - 9.30am and about 7.30 - 8.30pm which is a maximum of 2 hours away from a 12 hour gap. The cardios said that 2 hours difference is fine.

Thank you Kath I am going to try that tonight then. I will take now! An hour earlier than my usual time.

Good to read that others give themselves an every-twelve-hour time block for when they take their Pradaxa. Different experiences with this med have led me to realize that I don't have to take it exactly every twelve hours, but rather morning and night and I give myself a 2 hour framework in there. Morning 6:30 to 8:30 and evening 6:30 to 8:30. It works.

My mother had a cancerous kidney removed when she was 82 and lived on for another ten years.

That's brilliant seasider - I only hope I can have my kidney removed but because I sustained phrenic nerve injury from a cryoablation in August and my right lung/diaphram is paralysed they say I might be too high risk. I have to undergo lung tests to determine. If I can have my kidney removed (the cancer is stage 3 and very large) then I am confident I can overcome the cancer.

She had survived colon cancer about 15 years before. She took the kidney diagnosis very calmly in the April and they wanted to operate in June. She said it would have to wait until September as she was going to Canada in August and travelling around on her own visiting relatives.

She sounds like a wonderful lady :-)

Hi there Surreyhunni: I've been following your story with great interest initially because of your history with the phrenic nerve injury. I was just wondering how you are keeping? You certainly have had a lot thrown at you. You like many on this forum have amazing strength and determination. Keep positive.

Surreyhunni in reply to zetagirl

Hi Zeta girl

Thank you for asking.

I have an appointment on Thursday to confirm whether or not I can go ahead with having my kidney removed next week. I've been to hell n back the past few weeks with worry but I'm hopeful it will go ahead. I won't know if I shall need to put put into an induced coma afterwards for a few days or not until its done.

I have been warned I'm at high risk of getting pneumonia after (I've had it twice since august) but if it happens they will deal with it.

There are a lot of if's and buts at the moment. Scary times but I just have to go with it. I have no choice and that is where the strength and determination comes in as the alternative isn't what anyone wants.

I hope you are well. x

zetagirl in reply to Surreyhunni

Hi again Surreyhunni:

I don't know why but you've been on my mind. How you keeping?

Surreyhunni in reply to zetagirl

Hi Zeta

I had my kidney removed on the 29th November due to a large tumour being found. I was warned I was very high risk due to the phrenic nerve injury sustained during my ablation for the AF, but it was a no brainer for me - I needed to get the kidney gone whatever the risk! ... So, it all went better than expected, a few issues with my breathing but dealt with and I am now at home recovering. So far, so good. I have to wait 3 months for another scan to see if the cancer has spread and so for now am just concentrating on getting well from the op.

I hope everything is ok with you?

I'm so pleased for you that all went well. Take good care of yourself and I know your positive attitude will help you through this. Have a fabulous Xmas and so good to hear from you. Be well, be great. Cheers, Sharyne

Surreyhunni in reply to zetagirl

I just wanted to let you know that I got the results of my tumour yesterday .... it was the best news ever! Apparently I had a very rare tumour that is neither malignant or will metastasise. It wasn't cancer after all and although the consultant said it needed to come out, I will not need any further treatment or follow ups. Its my Christmas miracle and I still can't believe it!

I just need my phrenic nerve to repair itself now and I shall be a new woman :-)

Merry Christmas and a very Happy Healthy New Year xx

zetagirl in reply to Surreyhunni

Oh Heather. You must be jumping for joy! Congratulations. It's karma I reckon. Enough of the bad stuff for you - this is brilliant news and yes, your little Xmas Miracle. I'm so happy for you Heather. What a load off and now you can enjoy and relax this Xmas. Just super great news......Sharyne xx

Aww thank you Sharyne (lovely name) and the same back to you. Heather x

Hi Surreyhunni,just seen your post on tumour result, that's wonderful news so pleased for you.Now enjoy Christmas and look forward to a great 2018. JANE

Surreyhunni in reply to Fastbeat

Thank you so much I still can't believe it. It was only a 2% chance of it being that sort of tumour. I hope you are well Jane. Merry Christmas and all good wishes for 2018 xx

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