Pradaxa vs. Coumadin

What is Pradaxa?

Pradaxa, medical name Dabigatran, is a blood thinner or anticoagulant. Taken orally, Pradaxa is used as a preventative medicine against strokes, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Pradaxa is only available on prescription, from a licensed pharmacist.

Pradaxa has relatively few side effects. Some of these can include, increased bleeding in the GI tract and some gastrointestinal upset. At the more serious end of the spectrum, Pradaxa can cause a small increase in the risk of having a heart attack.

What is Coumadin?

Coumadin, known medically as Warfarin, is used as a preventative against thromboembolism and thrombosis. Originally introduced in the 1940’s as a pesticide against rodents, Coumadin has been in use as medicine since 1954, after it was found to be safe for human consumption and effective at preventing the formation of blood clots.

Like all anticoagulants, Coumadin’s major side effect is increased internal bleeding. The risk for patients is low, but in a very small number of cases, Coumadin has caused serious bleeds on the brain and spinal cord. Another rare side effect is called warfarin necrosis. This occurs when tissue dies due to a protein C deficiency caused by the Coumadin.


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