Pradaxa Side Effects
Even though Pradaxa can be a life-saving medication, there are potentially serious and even life-threatening side effects of the drug. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any signs of bleeding, such as unusual bruising, blood in the urine or stools, or vomiting blood. Some of the most common side effects of Pradaxa include indigestion, heartburn, and abdominal (stomach) pain.
Just like any medicine, Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) can cause side effects. As with most drugs that affect the blood's ability to form clots, Pradaxa can cause serious side effects (mostly related to the risk of bleeding).
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Pradaxa. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
In studies, Pradaxa was compared to warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), the standard drug used for anticoagulation in people with atrial fibrillation. In these studies, the possible side effects of each medication were recorded and compared.
Up to 35 percent of people taking Pradaxa experienced gastrointestinal problems, compared to 24 percent of people taking warfarin. These gastrointestinal problems included but were not limited to:
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Abdominal (stomach) pain or discomfort
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Ulcers of the digestive tract.
The other common side effect of Pradaxa is bleeding. Bleeding side effects included:
- Any bleeding -- in up to 16.6 percent of people taking Pradaxa (compared to 18.4 percent with warfarin)
- Major (serious) bleeding -- up to 3.3 percent (compared to 3.6 percent with warfarin)
- Life-threatening bleeding -- up to 1.5 percent (compared to 1.9 percent with warfarin)
- Bleeding in the brain -- up to 0.3 percent (compared to 0.8 percent with warfarin).