Heart Home > Important Information on Pradaxa Treatment

Using Pradaxa for Treating Blood Clots

Pradaxa is approved to treat blood clots deep in the veins of the body, known medically as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and of the lungs, known as pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT clots typically occur in the legs or hips. They can be especially dangerous if the clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, where it may cause a pulmonary embolism.
 
Pradaxa is approved to treat DVT or PE blood clots in people who have been treated with an injectable anticoagulant for five to ten days. In addition to treating these clots, it can help prevent future clots. 
 

Pradaxa Versus Warfarin

Pradaxa has several potential advantages over warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), the drug most commonly used in the past for anticoagulation in people with atrial fibrillation. Some of these advantages include the following:
 
  • Pradaxa dosing is simple and straightforward, with no need for frequent monitoring; warfarin can be very tricky to dose properly, and frequent monitoring and dosage adjustments are often necessary.
     
  • Pradaxa interacts with only a few drugs and no foods; warfarin interacts with many foods and drugs.
     
  • Pradaxa begins working rapidly; warfarin takes several days to start working.
     
  • Studies have also shown that Pradaxa is more effective at preventing strokes and blood clots than warfarin.
 
Studies do show that warfarin works better and is safer than Pradaxa in one particular group of people (those with mechanical prosthetic heart valves). In fact, Pradaxa should not be used in people with mechanical prosthetic heart valves for this particular reason. Also, when treating blood clots that have already occurred, studies suggest that Pradaxa works about as well as warfarin.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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