Pradaxa / dabigatran: I've been taking... - AF Association

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Pradaxa / dabigatran


I've been taking dabigatran for a couple of months. I've started getting really bad heartburn after taking it, so have asked my friend Mr Google what he thinks. There's loads of stuff on there about this, and, although the documentation suggests a 1 in 10 chance of it as a side erect, this feels like an underestimation?

Apart from being very uncomfortable it's not helpful or reassuring to be getting intense pains in your chest in the middle of the night...

Anyway, it appears that it is best to take it immediately after food, with a full glass of water and to remain standing for a while (not like me, to take it on an empty stomach with a sip of water just before going to sleep...)

A more sinister finding though was a piece on the Dr. John M site in which he recounts a group of colleagues mentioning several Pradaxa patients developing 'pill esophagitis' (or probably oesophagitis if you spell in English..). This is all anecdotal, but he thinks it worth studying, as this condition results in local inflammation caused by slow progress of the capsule down the oesophagus causing intense chest pain and possibly perforation. He describes it as 'not Mickey Mouse'.

10 Replies

I was sorry to hear of your problem.Very .not nice. to say the least. When 'choosing' which NOAC to take as I waved Warfarin goodbye I was perturbed as to how you take Dabigatran...standing up,with a glass of water etc. I wanted 'simple' and went for Apixaban....twice a day but 'down it goes 'quickly with no problems. I do hope you get this sorted and soon.Or, discuss with your GP another NOAC

Hidden in reply to 10gingercats

Thanks. I'm keen to stick with Pradaxa as it's great in terms of what it sets out to do. In particular it is reversible if ever there's a bleed problem, so very reassuring in that respect. Other NOACs can't be reversed, although there has been some progress I believe.

I think it's just a case of me not being so sloppy in my approach to my medication, and taking the capsules properly. Obviously I'll check out alternatives if there's still a problem.

I really was just wanting to share what I'd discovered with other Pradaxa users, so they could be aware. Thanks for taking the time to respond.


Shows how important it is to always take your pills in accordance with the instructions. Each DOAC seems to have a different method.

Warfarin made my stomach sore when I took it at night. I changed to taking it mid breakfast and had no more problems, have now been taking it for years. Could you take your Dabigatran this way?


Hidden in reply to jeanjeannie50

Hi Jean. Thanks for that. It's sort of what I'm planning. I'm supposed to take it every 12 hours (as also with flecainide), but I have been taking one of each when I get up and one before I go to bed (mistake...). This effectively means I take one at 6.00 a.m. and one at 11.00 p.m. so a 7 hour gap at night and a 17 hour gap during the day. Hence a period of 5 hours in the morning of double dose and 5 hours in the evening of limited dose. Bit crazy really but that's my level of organisation. I was pleased to remember tp take them at all!

I plan to take them after breakfast and evening meal in future. Not quite a perfect 12 hour gap, but much closer.

Thanks for your interest.

Can you take them mid meal, so that they don't hit your stomach?


Great idea. Will give that a try. I'm optimistic about the new regime...

Every now and then I get dreadful heartburn with Praxada. This happens if I don't swallow the capsule 'cleanly' and it sticks in my throat for a few seconds before I get it down properly. I blame myself for this as so try to take the capsule with due time and caution, standing yet relaxed. I have found that a slug of cider vinegar greatly helps get rid of the heartburn it can cause. I take praxada first thing in the morning as I have a tablet that needs to be taken an hour before food. Evening dose I take about 12 hours later after a meal. I agree that dabigatran/praxada is worth persevering with if you are generally happy with it. Hope this helps.


Cheers Niles. I think I've got it sorted now that I'm taking it more seriously. No problem last night as I'd taken it well before bedtime.

Given what you say about it 'sticking' on the way down I think the article I linked to in my original post is very relevant to you. It's why I posted really - to flag up the dangers for anybody who was having this problem. It can lead to very localised inflammation at the point where it sticks, and even perforate the oesophagus. So take care. Al

When I changed over to dabigatran, it r'reappeared' violently within the hour. Changed to Rivaroxaban no probs at all. Much prefer to warfarin with all the blood tests.

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