Pradaxa is a Rx Prescribed to Prevent Strokes

Pradaxa (dabigatran) is a medicine prescribed to prevent strokes that are caused by abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation). It was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., and received FDA approval in 2010.

People with abnormal heart rhythm (also known as atrial fibrillation) often experience blood clots because the heart does not beat correctly. Blood clots can be deadly if they travel through the blood stream and become lodged in a major organ, such as the heart, brain, or lungs. If a blood clot blocks the artery supplying blood to any of these vital organs, a person may experience a stroke and suffer permanent injury or death.

Pradaxa prevents strokes caused by blood clots by thinning a patient’s blood. It is a type of blood-thinner called a “direct thrombin inhibitor,” which inhibits the blood enzyme thrombin, which is necessary for clotting. In some cases, people who take Pradaxa may experience serious internal bleeding and gastrointestinal problems.

“Pradaxa triggers a 6% rate of major internal hemorrhages during each year of treatment,” said Dr. Michael D. Ezekowitz, a professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and one of the researchers who led the clinical trials during Pradaxa’s development.
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