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Dabigatran

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Pradaxa Adult

Dabigatran - What is it for

Dabigatran is a blood thinning medication that prevents blood clots from forming in your body. It does not remove clots that are already formed, but prevents these clots from becoming bigger.

You may be given Dabigatran for:

  • Treatment or prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot in the legs) or Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Prevention of stroke in Atrial Fibrillation, a condition where there is irregular heart rhythm
  • Prevention of blood clot formation after a hip or knee replacement operation

The length of treatment may range from a few weeks to long term.

Dabigatran - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Dabigatran cause?

You may experience stomach discomfort such as stomach pain, nausea or vomiting

  • Take your medication after food to minimise these symptoms
  • Inform your healthcare professional if these symptoms do not go away

You may experience other forms of bleeding such as gum bleed when brushing teeth, unexplained nose bleed, or get bruises more easily. 

  • See a doctor if bleeding does not stop within minutes or if you feel unwell.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and floss your teeth gently.
  • Use an electric shaver instead of a blade.
  • For women, it is common to have increased menstrual flow but check with your doctor if you feel unwell.

 

See a doctor immediately or go to the hospital if you have any of the following symptoms that may indicate internal bleeding, such as:

  • Black, sticky, or bloody stools
  • Coughing up blood or brown material
  • Unexplained bruises or purple areas on skin
  • Blood in urine
  • Severe headache that does not go away
  • Sudden giddiness or confusion
  • Sudden stomach pain
  • Sudden backache or joint pain
  • Shortness of breath

 

If you experience any one or more of the drug allergy symptoms below, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately: 

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

 

Blood clots may still form while you are taking Dabigatran. The signs and symptoms depend on the site where they are found. See a doctor immediately or go to the hospital if you experience:

  • Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis such as leg swelling, redness, pain, warmth, numbness
  • Symptoms of pulmonary embolism such as chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood 
  • Symptoms of stroke such as muscle weakness, difficulty talking, blackouts, giddiness, blurred vision

Before taking Dabigatran, what precautions must I follow?

  • Inform your healthcare professional if you are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.

  • There is no need to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. However, avoid sports or activities that may cause you to get injured. 

  • See a doctor if you have any fall or injury to any part of your body.

  • Inform all doctors, dentists and pharmacists that you are on Dabigatran. There may be a need to stop the medication for a short period if you are going for a surgery or medical procedures such as an endoscopy or dental treatment. 

  • Inform all doctors, dentists and pharmacists that you require an injection into the muscle.

  • Inform your healthcare professional if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Dabigatran?

Consult your healthcare professional before you take any other medication (either prescription or over-the-counter), nutritional supplements or herbal remedies. Some of these medications or supplements can affect the way Dabigatran works.

Examples of medications or supplements that may affect Dabigatran:

  • Antibiotics for tuberculosis (e.g. Rifampicin)
  • Medications to treat fungal infections (e.g. Itraconazole)
  • Seizure medications (e.g. Carbamazepine, Phenytoin)
  • St John's Wort

Dabigatran - Dosage and How to Use

How should Dabigatran be used?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • You may take this medication with or without food. 
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not chew, crush or open the capsule.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses at a time to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Dabigatran - Handling

How should I handle Dabigatran safely?

Dabigatran - Storage

How should I store Dabigatran?

  • Store the medication in its original packaging to protect it from moisture. If you need to pack it into a pillbox, cut the blister pack with the capsule still sealed within the blister pack. 
  • Store the medication in a cool, dry place away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I dispose of Dabigatran safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Dabigatran - Additional Information

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