Dabigatran etexilate mesylate (Pradaxa®) is a medication prescribed to prevent blood clots and strokes in people who have atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It is also approved to treat blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and lungs (pulmonary embolisms) and to prevent them from recurring.
People undergoing therapy with dabigatran should be aware of the warnings and precautions associated with this medication before beginning treatment. For example, because this medication is a type of "blood thinner," it can increase the risk for potentially dangerous bleeding problems.
Although dabigatran has possible risks, clinical studies have shown that this medication requires less monitoring and is more effective than warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), another blood thinner used to treat atrial fibrillation.
(For more information on this atrial fibrillation therapy, click Dabigatran. This article provides a complete overview of the drug, including information on how it works, general precautions, and potential side effects.)