Dabigatran Etexilate Mesylate (Pradaxa)
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Dabigatran Etexilate Mesylate (Pradaxa)

PRADAXA®
(dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Capsules

DRUG DESCRIPTION

The chemical name for dabigatran etexilate mesylate, a direct thrombin inhibitor, is β-Alanine, N-[[2-[[[4-[[[(hexyloxy)carbonyl]amino]iminomethyl] phenyl]amino]methyl]-1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-5-yl]carbonyl]-N-2-pyridinyl-,ethyl ester, methanesulfonate. The empirical formula is C34H41N7O5 • CH4O3S and the molecular weight is 723.86 (mesylate salt), 627.75 (free base). The structural formula is:

PRADAXA® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Structural Formula Illustration

Dabigatran etexilate mesylate is a yellow-white to yellow powder. A saturated solution in pure water has a solubility of 1.8 mg/mL. It is freely soluble in methanol, slightly soluble in ethanol, and sparingly soluble in isopropanol.

The 150 mg capsule for oral administration contains 172.95 mg dabigatran etexilate mesylate, which is equivalent to 150 mg of dabigatran etexilate, and the following inactive ingredients: acacia, dimethicone, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, talc, and tartaric acid. The capsule shell is composed of carrageenan, FD&C Blue No. 2 (150 mg only), FD&C Yellow No. 6, hypromellose, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, and black edible ink. The 75 mg capsule contains 86.48 mg dabigatran etexilate mesylate, equivalent to 75 mg dabigatran etexilate, and is otherwise similar to the 150 mg capsule.

What are the possible side effects of dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using dabigatran and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • any bleeding that will not stop;
  • weakness, feeling like you might pass out;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pradaxa »

What are the precautions when taking dabigatran etexilate mesylate (Pradaxa)?

Before taking dabigatran, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, bleeding problems (such as bleeding of the stomach/intestines, bleeding in the brain), blood disorders (such as anemia, hemophilia, thrombocytopenia), liver disease, recent major injury/surgery, infection in the heart (bacterial endocarditis), stroke, frequent falls/injuries.

It is important that all your doctors and dentists know that you take dabigatran. Before having surgery or any medical/dental...

Read All Potential Precautions of Pradaxa »

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

INDICATIONS

PRADAXA is indicated to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Recommended Dose

For patients with creatinine clearance (CrCl) > 30 mL/min, the recommended dose of PRADAXA is 150 mg taken orally, twice daily, with or without food. For patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl 15-30 mL/min), the recommended dose of PRADAXA is 75 mg twice daily [see Use in Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Dosing recommendations for patients with a CrCl < 15 mL/min or on dialysis cannot be provided.

Dosing Adjustments

Assess renal function prior to initiation of treatment with PRADAXA. Periodically assess renal function as clinically indicated (i.e., more frequently in clinical situations that may be associated with a decline in renal function) and adjust therapy accordingly. Discontinue PRADAXA in patients who develop acute renal failure while on PRADAXA and consider alternative anticoagulant therapy.

In patients with moderate renal impairment (CrCl 30-50 mL/min), concomitant use of the P-gp inhibitor dronedarone or systemic ketoconazole can be expected to produce dabigatran exposure similar to that observed in severe renal impairment. Consider reducing the dose of PRADAXA to 75 mg twice daily [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Generally, the extent of anticoagulation does not need to be assessed. When necessary, use aPTT or ECT, and not INR, to assess for anticoagulant activity in patients on PRADAXA [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Instructions to Patients

Instruct patients to swallow the capsules whole. Breaking, chewing, or emptying the contents of the capsule can result in increased exposure [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

If a dose of PRADAXA is not taken at the scheduled time, the dose should be taken as soon as possible on the same day; the missed dose should be skipped if it cannot be taken at least 6 hours before the next scheduled dose. The dose of PRADAXA should not be doubled to make up for a missed dose.

Converting from or to Warfarin

When converting patients from warfarin therapy to PRADAXA, discontinue warfarin and start PRADAXA when the INR is below 2.0.

When converting from PRADAXA to warfarin, adjust the starting time of warfarin based on creatinine clearance as follows:

  • For CrCl ≥ 50 mL/min, start warfarin 3 days before discontinuing PRADAXA.
  • For CrCl 30-50 mL/min, start warfarin 2 days before discontinuing PRADAXA.
  • For CrCl 15-30 mL/min, start warfarin 1 day before discontinuing PRADAXA.
  • For CrCl < 15 mL/min, no recommendations can be made.

Because PRADAXA can increase INR, the INR will better reflect warfarin's effect only after PRADAXA has been stopped for at least 2 days [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Converting from or to Parenteral Anticoagulants

For patients currently receiving a parenteral anticoagulant, start PRADAXA 0 to 2 hours before the time that the next dose of the parenteral drug was to have been administered or at the time of discontinuation of a continuously administered parenteral drug (e.g., intravenous unfractionated heparin).

For patients currently taking PRADAXA, wait 12 hours (CrCl ≥ 30 mL/min) or 24 hours (CrCl < 30 mL/min) after the last dose of PRADAXA before initiating treatment with a parenteral anticoagulant [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Surgery and Interventions

If possible, discontinue PRADAXA 1 to 2 days (CrCl ≥ 50 mL/min) or 3 to 5 days (CrCl < 50 mL/min) before invasive or surgical procedures because of the increased risk of bleeding. Consider longer times for patients undergoing major surgery, spinal puncture, or placement of a spinal or epidural catheter or port, in whom complete hemostasis may be required [see Use In Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

If surgery cannot be delayed, there is an increased risk of bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. This risk of bleeding should be weighed against the urgency of intervention [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

HOW SUPPLIED

Dosage Forms And Strengths

150 mg capsules with a light blue opaque cap imprinted in black with the Boehringer Ingelheim company symbol and a cream-colored opaque body imprinted in black with “R150”.

75 mg capsules with a cream-colored opaque cap imprinted in black with the Boehringer Ingelheim company symbol and a cream-colored opaque body imprinted in black with “R75”.

Storage And Handling

PRADAXA 75 mg capsules have a cream-colored opaque cap imprinted with the Boehringer Ingelheim company symbol and a cream-colored opaque body imprinted with “R75”. The color of the imprinting is black. The capsules are supplied in the packages listed:

NDC 0597-0149-54 Unit of use bottle of 60 capsules
NDC 0597-0149-60 Blister package containing 60 capsules (10 x 6 capsule blister cards)

PRADAXA 150 mg capsules have a light blue opaque cap imprinted with the Boehringer Ingelheim company symbol and a cream-colored opaque body imprinted with “R150”. The color of the imprinting is black. The capsules are supplied in the packages listed:

NDC 0597-0135-54 Unit of use bottle of 60 capsules
NDC 0597-0135-60 Blister package containing 60 capsules (10 x 6 capsule blister cards)

Bottles

Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°-30°C (59°-86°F). Once opened, the product must be used within 4 months. Keep the bottle tightly closed. Store in the original package to protect from moisture.

Blisters

Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°-30°C (59°-86°F). Store in the original package to protect from moisture.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Distributed by: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ridgefield, CT 06877 USA. Revised: December 2012

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reactions rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-term Anticoagulant Therapy) study provided safety information on the use of two doses of PRADAXA and warfarin [see Clinical Studies]. The numbers of patients and their exposures are described in Table 1. Limited information is presented on the 110 mg dosing arm because this dose is not approved.

Table 1 : Summary of Treatment Exposure in RE-LY

  PRADAXA 110 mg twice daily PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily Warfarin
Total number treated 5983 6059 5998
Exposure
   > 12 months 4936 4939 5193
   > 24 months 2387 2405 2470
Mean exposure (months) 20.5 20.3 21.3
Total patient-years 10,242 10,261 10,659

Drug Discontinuation in RE-LY

The rates of adverse reactions leading to treatment discontinuation were 21% for PRADAXA 150 mg and 16% for warfarin. The most frequent adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of PRADAXA were bleeding and gastrointestinal events (i.e., dyspepsia, nausea, upper abdominal pain, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and diarrhea).

Bleeding

[see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Table 2 shows the number of patients experiencing serious bleeding during the treatment period in the RE-LY study, with the bleeding rate per 100 patient-years (%). Major bleeds fulfilled one or more of the following criteria: bleeding associated with a reduction in hemoglobin of at least 2 grams per deciliter or leading to a transfusion of at least 2 units of blood, or symptomatic bleeding in a critical area or organ (intraocular, intracranial, intraspinal or intramuscular with compartment syndrome, retroperitoneal bleeding, intra-articular bleeding, or pericardial bleeding). A life-threatening bleed met one or more of the following criteria: fatal, symptomatic intracranial bleed, reduction in hemoglobin of at least 5 grams per deciliter, transfusion of at least 4 units of blood, associated with hypotension requiring the use of intravenous inotropic agents, or necessitating surgical intervention. Intracranial hemorrhage included intracerebral (hemorrhagic stroke), subarachnoid, and subdural bleeds.

Table 2 : Bleeding Events* (per 100 Patient-Years)

  PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily N (%) Warfarin N (%) Hazard Ratio (95% CI**)
Randomized patients 6076 6022
Patient-years 12,033 11,794
  Intracranial hemorrhage 38 (0.3) 90 (0.8) 0.41 (0.28, 0.60)
  Life-threatening bleed 179 (1.5) 218 (1.9) 0.80 (0.66, 0.98)
  Major bleed 399 (3.3) 421 (3.6) 0.93 (0.81, 1.07)
  Any bleed 1993 (16.6) 2166 (18.4) 0.91 (0.85, 0.96)
*Patients contributed multiple events and events were counted in multiple categories.
**Confidence interval

The risk of major bleeds was similar with PRADAXA 150 mg and warfarin across major subgroups defined by baseline characteristics, with the exception of age, where there was a trend towards a higher incidence of major bleeding on PRADAXA (hazard ratio 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0 to 1.4) for patients ≥ 75 years of age.

There was a higher rate of major gastrointestinal bleeds in patients receiving PRADAXA 150 mg than in patients receiving warfarin (1.6% vs. 1.1%, respectively, with a hazard ratio vs. warfarin of 1.5, 95% CI, 1.2 to 1.9), and a higher rate of any gastrointestinal bleeds (6.1% vs. 4.0%, respectively).

Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

Patients on PRADAXA 150 mg had an increased incidence of gastrointestinal adverse reactions (35% vs. 24% on warfarin). These were commonly dyspepsia (including abdominal pain upper, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, and epigastric discomfort) and gastritis-like symptoms (including GERD, esophagitis, erosive gastritis, gastric hemorrhage, hemorrhagic gastritis, hemorrhagic erosive gastritis, and gastrointestinal ulcer).

Hypersensitivity Reactions

In the RE-LY study, drug hypersensitivity (including urticaria, rash, and pruritus), allergic edema, anaphylactic reaction, and anaphylactic shock were reported in < 0.1% of patients receiving PRADAXA.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of PRADAXA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. The following adverse reaction has been identified during postapproval use of PRADAXA: angioedema.

Read the Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

DRUG INTERACTIONS

The concomitant use of PRADAXA with P-gp inducers (e.g., rifampin) reduces exposure to dabigatran and should generally be avoided [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

P-gp inhibition and impaired renal function are the major independent factors that result in increased exposure to dabigatran [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Concomitant use of P-gp inhibitors in patients with renal impairment is expected to produce increased exposure of dabigatran compared to that seen with either factor alone.

In patients with moderate renal impairment (CrCl 30-50 mL/min), consider reducing the dose of PRADAXA to 75 mg twice daily when administered concomitantly with the P-gp inhibitor dronedarone or systemic ketoconazole. The use of P-gp inhibitors (verapamil, amiodarone, quinidine, and clarithromycin) does not require a dose adjustment of PRADAXA. These results should not be extrapolated to other P-gp inhibitors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Use In Specific Populations, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

The concomitant use of PRADAXA and P-gp inhibitors in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl 15-30 mL/min) should be avoided [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Use In Specific Populations, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Risk of Bleeding

PRADAXA increases the risk of bleeding and can cause significant and, sometimes, fatal bleeding. Promptly evaluate any signs or symptoms of blood loss (e.g., a drop in hemoglobin and/or hematocrit or hypotension). Discontinue PRADAXA in patients with active pathological bleeding [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Risk factors for bleeding include the concomitant use of other drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (e.g., anti-platelet agents, heparin, fibrinolytic therapy, and chronic use of NSAIDs). PRADAXA's anticoagulant activity and half-life are increased in patients with renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

A specific reversal agent for dabigatran is not available. Hemodialysis can remove dabigatran; however the clinical experience supporting the use of hemodialysis as a treatment for bleeding is limited [see OVERDOSAGE]. Activated prothrombin complex concentrates (aPCCs, e.g., FEIBA), or recombinant Factor VIIa, or concentrates of coagulation factors II, IX or X may be considered but their use has not been evaluated in clinical trials. Protamine sulfate and vitamin K are not expected to affect the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran. Consider administration of platelet concentrates in cases where thrombocytopenia is present or long-acting antiplatelet drugs have been used.

Thromboembolic and Bleeding Events in Patients with Prosthetic Heart Valves

The safety and efficacy of PRADAXA in patients with bileaflet mechanical prosthetic heart valves was evaluated in the RE-ALIGN trial, in which patients with bileaflet mechanical prosthetic heart valves (recently implanted or implanted more than three months prior to enrollment) were randomized to dose adjusted warfarin or 150, 220, or 300 mg of PRADAXA twice a day. RE-ALIGN was terminated early due to the occurrence of significantly more thromboembolic events (valve thrombosis, stroke, transient ischemic attack, and myocardial infarction) and an excess of major bleeding (predominantly post-operative pericardial effusions requiring intervention for hemodynamic compromise) in the PRADAXA treatment arm as compared to the warfarin treatment arm. These bleeding and thromboembolic events were seen both in patients who were initiated on PRADAXA post-operatively within three days of mechanical bileaflet valve implantation, as well as in patients whose valves had been implanted more than three months prior to enrollment. Therefore, the use of PRADAXA is contraindicated in patients with mechanical prosthetic valves [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

The use of PRADAXA for the prophylaxis of thromboembolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation in the setting of other forms of valvular heart disease, including the presence of a bioprosthetic heart valve, has not been studied and is not recommended.

Temporary Discontinuation of PRADAXA

Discontinuing anticoagulants, including PRADAXA, for active bleeding, elective surgery, or invasive procedures, places patients at an increased risk of stroke. Minimize lapses in therapy.

Effect of P-gp Inducers and Inhibitors on Dabigatran Exposure

The concomitant use of PRADAXA with P-gp inducers (e.g. rifampin) reduces exposure to dabigatran and should generally be avoided [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

P-gp inhibition and impaired renal function are the major independent factors that result in increased exposure to dabigatran [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Concomitant use of P-gp inhibitors in patients with renal impairment is expected to produce increased exposure of dabigatran compared to that seen with either factor alone.

Consider reducing the dose of PRADAXA to 75 mg twice daily when dronedarone or systemic ketoconazole is coadministered with PRADAXA in patients with moderate renal impairment (CrCl 30-50 mL/min). Avoid use of PRADAXA and P-gp inhibitors in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl 15-30 mL/min) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide)

Instructions for Patients

  • Tell patients to take PRADAXA exactly as prescribed.
  • Remind patients not to discontinue PRADAXA without talking to the health care provider who prescribed it.
  • Keep PRADAXA in the original bottle to protect from moisture. Do not put PRADAXA in pill boxes or pill organizers.
  • When more than one bottle is dispensed to the patient, instruct them to open only one bottle at a time.
  • Instruct patient to remove only one capsule from the opened bottle at the time of use. The bottle should be immediately and tightly closed.
  • Advise patients not to chew or break the capsules before swallowing them and not to open the capsules and take the pellets alone.

Bleeding

Inform patients that they may bleed more easily, may bleed longer, and should call their health care provider for any signs or symptoms of bleeding.

Instruct patients to seek emergency care right away if they have any of the following, which may be a sign or symptom of serious bleeding:

  • Unusual bruising (bruises that appear without known cause or that get bigger)
  • Pink or brown urine
  • Red or black, tarry stools
  • Coughing up blood
  • Vomiting blood, or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

Instruct patients to call their health care provider or to get prompt medical attention if they experience any signs or symptoms of bleeding:

  • Pain, swelling or discomfort in a joint
  • Headaches, dizziness, or weakness
  • Reoccurring nose bleeds
  • Unusual bleeding from gums
  • Bleeding from a cut that takes a long time to stop
  • Menstrual bleeding or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal

Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

Instruct patients to call their health care provider if they experience any signs or symptoms of dyspepsia or gastritis:

  • Dyspepsia (upset stomach), burning, or nausea
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Epigastric discomfort, GERD (gastric indigestion)

Invasive or Surgical Procedures

Instruct patients to inform their health care provider that they are taking PRADAXA before any invasive procedure (including dental procedures) is scheduled.

Concomitant Medications

Ask patients to list all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or dietary supplements they are taking or plan to take so their health care provider knows about other treatments that may affect bleeding risk (e.g., aspirin or NSAIDs) or dabigatran exposure (e.g., dronedarone or systemic ketoconazole).

Prosthetic Heart Valves

Instruct patients to inform their health care provider if they will have or have had surgery to place a prosthetic heart valve.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Dabigatran was not carcinogenic when administered by oral gavage to mice and rats for up to 2 years. The highest doses tested (200 mg/kg/day) in mice and rats were approximately 3.6 and 6 times, respectively, the human exposure at MRHD of 300 mg/day based on AUC comparisons.

Dabigatran was not mutagenic in in vitro tests, including bacterial reversion tests, mouse lymphoma assay and chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes, and the in vivo micronucleus assay in rats.

In the rat fertility study with oral gavage doses of 15, 70, and 200 mg/kg, males were treated for 29 days prior to mating, during mating up to scheduled termination, and females were treated 15 days prior to mating through gestation Day 6. No adverse effects on male or female fertility were observed at 200 mg/kg or 9 to 12 times the human exposure at MRHD of 300 mg/day based on AUC comparisons. However, the number of implantations decreased in females receiving 70 mg/kg, or 3 times the human exposure at MRHD based on AUC comparisons.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

Dabigatran has been shown to decrease the number of implantations when male and female rats were treated at a dosage of 70 mg/kg (about 2.6 to 3.0 times the human exposure at maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] of 300 mg/day based on area under the curve [AUC] comparisons) prior to mating and up to implantation (gestation Day 6). Treatment of pregnant rats after implantation with dabigatran at the same dose increased the number of dead offspring and caused excess vaginal/uterine bleeding close to parturition. Although dabigatran increased the incidence of delayed or irregular ossification of fetal skull bones and vertebrae in the rat, it did not induce major malformations in rats or rabbits.

Labor and Delivery

Safety and effectiveness of PRADAXA during labor and delivery have not been studied in clinical trials. Consider the risks of bleeding and of stroke in using PRADAXA in this setting [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Death of offspring and mother rats during labor in association with uterine bleeding occurred during treatment of pregnant rats from implantation (gestation Day 7) to weaning (lactation Day 21) with dabigatran at a dose of 70 mg/kg (about 2.6 times the human exposure at MRHD of 300 mg/day based on AUC comparisons).

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether dabigatran is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when PRADAXA is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of PRADAXA in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients in the RE-LY study, 82% were 65 and over, while 40% were 75 and over. The risk of stroke and bleeding increases with age, but the risk-benefit profile is favorable in all age groups [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and Clinical Studies].

Renal Impairment

No dose adjustment of PRADAXA is recommended in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Reduce the dose of PRADAXA in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl 15-30 mL/min) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Dosing recommendations for patients with CrCl < 15 mL/min or on dialysis cannot be provided.

Adjust dose appropriately in patients with renal impairment receiving concomitant P-gp inhibitors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, DRUG INTERACTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

OVERDOSE

Accidental overdose may lead to hemorrhagic complications. There is no reversal agent for dabigatran. In the event of hemorrhagic complications, initiate appropriate clinical support, discontinue treatment with PRADAXA, and investigate the source of bleeding. Dabigatran is primarily eliminated by the kidneys with a low plasma protein binding of approximately 35%. Hemodialysis can remove dabigatran; however, data supporting this approach are limited. Using a high-flux dialyzer, blood flow rate of 200 mL/min, and dialysate flow rate of 700 mL/min, approximately 49% of total dabigatran can be cleared from plasma over 4 hours. At the same dialysate flow rate, approximately 57% can be cleared using a dialyzer blood flow rate of 300 mL/min, with no appreciable increase in clearance observed at higher blood flow rates. Upon cessation of hemodialysis, a redistribution effect of approximately 7% to 15% is seen. The effect of dialysis on dabigatran's plasma concentration would be expected to vary based on patient specific characteristics. Measurement of aPTT or ECT may help guide therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

CONTRAINDICATIONS

PRADAXA is contraindicated in patients with:

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Dabigatran and its acyl glucuronides are competitive, direct thrombin inhibitors. Because thrombin (serine protease) enables the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin during the coagulation cascade, its inhibition prevents the development of a thrombus. Both free and clot-bound thrombin, and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation are inhibited by the active moieties.

Pharmacodynamics

At recommended therapeutic doses, dabigatran etexilate prolongs the coagulation markers such as aPTT, ECT, and TT. INR is relatively insensitive to the exposure to dabigatran and cannot be interpreted the same way as used for warfarin monitoring.

The aPTT test provides an approximation of PRADAXA's anticoagulant effect. The average time course for effects on aPTT, following approved dosing regimens in patients with various degrees of renal impairment is shown in Figure 1. The curves represent mean levels without confidence intervals; variations should be expected when measuring aPTT. While advice cannot be provided on the level of recovery of aPTT needed in any particular clinical setting, the curves can be used to estimate the time to get to a particular level of recovery, even when the time since the last dose of PRADAXA is not precisely known. In the RE-LY trial, the median (10th to 90th percentile) trough aPTT in patients receiving the 150 mg dose was 52 (40 to 76) seconds.

Figure 1 : Average Time Course for Effects of Dabigatran on aPTT, Following Approved PRADAXA Dosing Regimens in Patients with Various Degrees of Renal Impairment*

Average Time Course for Effects of Dabigatran on aPTT - Illustration

*Simulations based on PK data from a study in subjects with renal impairment and PK/aPTT relationships derived from the RE-LY study; aPTT prolongation in RE-LY was measured centrally in citrate plasma using PTT Reagent Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, Germany. There may be quantitative differences between various established methods for aPTT assessment.

The degree of anticoagulant activity can also be assessed by the ecarin clotting time (ECT). This test is a more specific measure of the effect of dabigatran than activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). In the RE-LY trial, the median (10th to 90th percentile) trough ECT in patients receiving the 150 mg dose was 63 (44 to 103) seconds.

Cardiac Electrophysiology

No prolongation of the QTc interval was observed with dabigatran etexilate at doses up to 600 mg.

Pharmacokinetics

Dabigatran etexilate mesylate is absorbed as the dabigatran etexilate ester. The ester is then hydrolyzed, forming dabigatran, the active moiety. Dabigatran is metabolized to four different acyl glucuronides and both the glucuronides and dabigatran have similar pharmacological activity. Pharmacokinetics described here refer to the sum of dabigatran and its glucuronides. Dabigatran displays dose-proportional pharmacokinetics in healthy subjects and patients in the range of doses from 10 to 400 mg.

Absorption

The absolute bioavailability of dabigatran following oral administration of dabigatran etexilate is approximately 3 to 7%. Dabigatran etexilate is a substrate of the efflux transporter P-gp. After oral administration of dabigatran etexilate in healthy volunteers, Cmax occurs at 1 hour post-administration in the fasted state. Coadministration of PRADAXA with a high-fat meal delays the time to Cmax by approximately 2 hours but has no effect on the bioavailability of dabigatran; PRADAXA may be administered with or without food.

The oral bioavailability of dabigatran etexilate increases by 75% when the pellets are taken without the capsule shell compared to the intact capsule formulation. PRADAXA capsules should therefore not be broken, chewed, or opened before administration.

Distribution

Dabigatran is approximately 35% bound to human plasma proteins. The red blood cell to plasma partitioning of dabigatran measured as total radioactivity is less than 0.3. The volume of distribution of dabigatran is 50 to 70 L. Dabigatran pharmacokinetics are dose proportional after single doses of 10 to 400 mg. Given twice daily, dabigatran's accumulation factor is approximately two.

Elimination

Dabigatran is eliminated primarily in the urine. Renal clearance of dabigatran is 80% of total clearance after intravenous administration. After oral administration of radiolabeled dabigatran, 7% of radioactivity is recovered in urine and 86% in feces. The half-life of dabigatran in healthy subjects is 12 to 17 hours.

Metabolism

After oral administration, dabigatran etexilate is converted to dabigatran. The cleavage of the dabigatran etexilate by esterase-catalyzed hydrolysis to the active principal dabigatran is the predominant metabolic reaction. Dabigatran is not a substrate, inhibitor, or inducer of CYP450 enzymes. Dabigatran is subject to conjugation forming pharmacologically active acyl glucuronides. Four positional isomers, 1-O, 2-O, 3-O, and 4-O-acylglucuronide exist, and each accounts for less than 10% of total dabigatran in plasma.

Renal Impairment

An open, parallel-group single-center study compared dabigatran pharmacokinetics in healthy subjects and patients with mild to moderate renal impairment receiving a single dose of PRADAXA 150 mg. Exposure to dabigatran increases with severity of renal function impairment (Table 3). Similar findings were observed in the RE-LY trial.

Table 3 : Impact of Renal Impairment on Dabigatran Pharmacokinetics

Renal Function CrCl (mL/min) Increase in AUC Increase in Cmax t½ (h)
Normal ≥ 80 1x 1x 13
Mild 50-80 1.5x 1.1x 15
Moderate 30-50 3.2x 1.7x 18
Severe+ 15-30 6.3x 2.1x 27
+Patients with severe renal impairment were not studied in RE-LY. Dosing recommendations in subjects with severe renal impairment are based on pharmacokinetic modeling [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Use In Specific Populations].

Hepatic Impairment

Administration of PRADAXA in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B) showed a large inter-subject variability, but no evidence of a consistent change in exposure or pharmacodynamics.

Drug Interactions

Impact of Other Drugs on Dabigatran

P-gp Inducers

Rifampin: Rifampin 600 mg once daily for 7 days followed by a single dose of dabigatran decreased its AUC and Cmax by 66% and 67%, respectively. By Day 7 after cessation of rifampin treatment, dabigatran exposure was close to normal [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].

P-gp Inhibitors

In studies with the P-gp inhibitors ketoconazole, amiodarone, verapamil, and quinidine, the time to peak, terminal half-life, and mean residence time of dabigatran were not affected. Any observed changes in Cmax and AUC are described below.

Dronedarone: Simultaneous administration of dabigatran etexilate and dronedarone (administered once or twice daily) increases exposure to dabigatran by 70 to 140% compared to dabigatran alone. The increase in exposure is only 30 to 60% higher compared to dabigatran alone when dronedarone is administered 2 hours after dabigatran etexilate.

Ketoconazole: Systemic ketoconazole increased dabigatran AUC and Cmax values by 138% and 135%, respectively, after a single dose of 400 mg, and 153%, and 149%, respectively, after multiple daily doses of 400 mg.

Verapamil: When dabigatran etexilate was coadministered with oral verapamil, the Cmax and AUC of dabigatran were increased. The extent of increase depends on the formulation of verapamil and timing of administration. If verapamil is present in the gut when dabigatran is taken, it will increase exposure to dabigatran with the greatest increase observed when a single dose of immediate-release verapamil is given one hour prior to dabigatran (AUC increased by a factor of 2.4). If verapamil is given 2 hours after dabigatran, the increase in AUC is negligible. In the population pharmacokinetics study from RE-LY, no important changes in dabigatran trough levels were observed in patients who received verapamil.

Amiodarone: When dabigatran etexilate was coadministered with a single 600 mg oral dose of amiodarone, the dabigatran AUC and Cmax increased by 58% and 50%, respectively. The increase in exposure was mitigated by a 65% increase in the renal clearance of dabigatran in the presence of amiodarone. The increase in renal clearance may persist after amiodarone is discontinued because of amiodarone's long half-life. In the population pharmacokinetics study from RE-LY, no important changes in dabigatran trough levels were observed in patients who received amiodarone.

Quinidine: Quinidine was given as 200 mg dose every 2 hours up to a total dose of 1000 mg. Dabigatran etexilate was given over 3 consecutive days, the last evening dose on Day 3 with or without quinidine pre-dosing. Concomitant quinidine administration increased dabigatran's AUC and Cmax by 53% and 56%, respectively.

Clarithromycin: Coadministered clarithromycin had no impact on the exposure to dabigatran.

Other Drugs

Clopidogrel: When dabigatran etexilate was given concomitantly with a loading dose of 300 mg or 600 mg clopidogrel, the dabigatran AUC and Cmax increased by approximately 30% and 40%, respectively. The concomitant administration of dabigatran etexilate and clopidogrel resulted in no further prolongation of capillary bleeding times compared to clopidogrel monotherapy. When comparing combined treatment and the respective mono-treatments, the coagulation measures for dabigatran's effect (aPTT, ECT, and TT) remained unchanged, and inhibition of platelet aggregation (IPA), a measurement of clopidogrel's effect, remained unchanged.

Enoxaparin: Enoxaparin 40 mg given subcutaneously for 3 days with the last dose given 24 hours before a single dose of PRADAXA had no impact on the exposure to dabigatran or the coagulation measures aPTT, ECT, or TT.

Diclofenac, Ranitidine, and Digoxin: None of these drugs alters exposure to dabigatran.

In RE-LY, dabigatran plasma samples were also collected. The concomitant use of proton pump inhibitors, H2 antagonists, and digoxin did not appreciably change the trough concentration of dabigatran.

Impact of Dabigatran on Other Drugs

In clinical studies exploring CYP3A4, CYP2C9, P-gp and other pathways, dabigatran did not meaningfully alter the pharmacokinetics of amiodarone, atorvastatin, clarithromycin, diclofenac, clopidogrel, digoxin, pantoprazole, or ranitidine.

Clinical Studies

The clinical evidence for the efficacy of PRADAXA was derived from RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-term Anticoagulant Therapy), a multi-center, multinational, randomized parallel group trial comparing two blinded doses of PRADAXA (110 mg twice daily and 150 mg twice daily) with open-label warfarin (dosed to target INR of 2 to 3) in patients with non-valvular, persistent, paroxysmal, or permanent atrial fibrillation and one or more of the following additional risk factors:

The primary objective of this study was to determine if PRADAXA was non-inferior to warfarin in reducing the occurrence of the composite endpoint, stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic) and systemic embolism. The study was designed to ensure that PRADAXA preserved more than 50% of warfarin's effect as established by previous randomized, placebo-controlled trials of warfarin in atrial fibrillation. Statistical superiority was also analyzed.

A total of 18,113 patients were randomized and followed for a median of 2 years. The patient's mean age was 71.5 years and the mean CHADS2 score was 2.1. The patient population was 64% male, 70% Caucasian, 16% Asian, and 1% black. Twenty percent of patients had a history of a stroke or TIA and 50% were Vitamin K antagonist (VKA) naïve, defined as less than 2 months total lifetime exposure to a VKA. Thirty-two percent of the population had never been exposed to a VKA. Concomitant diseases of patients in this trial included hypertension 79%, diabetes 23%, and CAD 28%. At baseline, 40% of patients were on aspirin and 6% were on clopidogrel. For patients randomized to warfarin, the mean percentage of time in therapeutic range (INR 2 to 3) was 64%.

Relative to warfarin and to PRADAXA 110 mg twice daily, PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily significantly reduced the primary composite endpoint of stroke and systemic embolism (see Table 4 and Figure 2).

Table 4 : First Occurrence of Stroke or Systemic Embolism in the RE-LY Study

  PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily PRADAXA 110 mg twice daily Warfarin
Patients randomized 6076 6015 6022
Patients (%) with events 134 (2.2%) 183 (3%) 202 (3.4%)
Hazard ratio vs. warfarin (95% CI) 0.65 (0.52, 0.81) 0.90 (0.74, 1.10)  
  P-value for superiority 0.0001 0.3  
Hazard ratio vs. PRADAXA 110 mg (95% CI) 0.72 (0.58, 0.90)    
  P-value for superiority 0.004    

Figure 2 : Kaplan-Meier Curve Estimate of Time to First Stroke or Systemic Embolism

Kaplan-Meier Curve Estimate of Time to First Stroke or Systemic Embolism - Illustration

The contributions of the components of the composite endpoint, including stroke by subtype, are shown in Table 5. The treatment effect was primarily a reduction in stroke. PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily was superior in reducing ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes relative to warfarin.

Table 5 : Strokes and Systemic Embolism in the RE-LY Study

  PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily Warfarin (95% CI) Hazard ratio vs. warfarin
Patients randomized 6076 6022  
Stroke 122 186 0.64 (0.51, 0.81)
Ischemic stroke 103 134 0.75 (0.58, 0.97)
Hemorrhagic stroke 12 45 0.26 (0.14, 0.49)
Systemic embolism 13 21 0.61 (0.30, 1.21)

The efficacy of PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily was generally consistent across major subgroups (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 : Stroke and Systemic Embolism Hazard Ratios by Baseline Characteristics

Stroke and Systemic Embolism Hazard Ratios by Baseline Characteristics - Illustration

In RE-LY, a higher rate of clinical myocardial infarction was reported in patients who received PRADAXA (0.7 per 100 patient-years for 150 mg dose) than in those who received warfarin (0.6).

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

PATIENT INFORMATION

MEDICATION GUIDE

PRADAXA
(pra dax a)
(dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Capsules

Read this Medication Guide before you start taking PRADAXA and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?

  • PRADAXA can cause bleeding which can be serious, and sometimes lead to death. This is because PRADAXA is a blood thinner medicine that lowers the chance of blood clots forming in your body.
  • You may have a higher risk of bleeding if you take PRADAXA and:
    • are over 75 years old
    • have kidney problems
    • have stomach or intestine bleeding that is recent or keeps coming back, or you have a stomach ulcer
    • take other medicines that increase your risk of bleeding, including:
      • aspirin or aspirin containing products
      • long-term (chronic) use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
      • warfarin sodium (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
      • a medicine that contains heparin
      • clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix®)
      • prasugrel (Effient®)
    • have certain kidney problems and also take the medicines dronedarone (Multaq®) or ketoconazole tablets (Nizoral®).
      Tell your doctor if you take any of these medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above.
  • PRADAXA can increase your risk of bleeding because it lessens the ability of your blood to clot. While you take PRADAXA:
    • you may bruise more easily
    • it may take longer for any bleeding to stop

Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of these signs or symptoms of bleeding:

  • unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time, such as:
    • unusual bleeding from the gums
    • nose bleeds that happen often
    • menstrual bleeding or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal
  • bleeding that is severe or you cannot control
  • pink or brown urine
  • red or black stools (looks like tar)
  • bruises that happen without a known cause or get larger
  • cough up blood or blood clots
  • vomit blood or your vomit looks like “coffee grounds”
  • unexpected pain, swelling, or joint pain
  • headaches, feeling dizzy or weak

Take PRADAXA exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking PRADAXA without first talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. Stopping PRADAXA may increase your risk of a stroke.

PRADAXA may need to be stopped, if possible, for one or more days before any surgery, or medical or dental procedure. If you need to stop taking PRADAXA for any reason, talk to the doctor who prescribed PRADAXA for you to find out when you should stop taking it. Your doctor will tell you when to start taking PRADAXA again after your surgery or procedure.

See “What are the possible side effects of PRADAXA?” for more information about side effects.

What is PRADAXA?

PRADAXA is a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have a medical condition called atrial fibrillation. With atrial fibrillation, part of the heart does not beat the way it should. This can lead to blood clots forming and increase your risk of a stroke. PRADAXA is a blood thinner medicine that lowers the chance of blood clots forming in your body.

PRADAXA is not for use in people with artificial (prosthetic) heart valves.

It is not known if PRADAXA is safe and works in children.

Who should not take PRADAXA? Do not take PRADAXA if you:

  • currently have certain types of abnormal bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking PRADAXA if you currently have unusual bleeding.
  • have had a serious allergic reaction to PRADAXA. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
  • have ever had or plan to have a valve in your heart replaced

What should I tell my doctor before taking PRADAXA?

Before you take PRADAXA, tell your doctor if you:

  • have kidney problems
  • have ever had bleeding problems
  • have ever had stomach ulcers
  • have any other medical condition
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if PRADAXA will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if PRADAXA passes into your breast milk.

Tell all of your doctors and dentists that you are taking PRADAXA. They should talk to the doctor who prescribed PRADAXA for you, before you have any surgery, or medical or dental procedure.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Some of your other medicines may affect the way PRADAXA works. Certain medicines may increase your risk of bleeding. See “What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?

Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • rifampin (Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®, Rifadin®)

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take PRADAXA?

  • Take PRADAXA exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not take PRADAXA more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You can take PRADAXA with or without food.
  • PRADAXA comes in a bottle or in a blister package.
  • Only open 1 bottle of PRADAXA at a time. Finish your opened bottle of PRADAXA before opening a new bottle.
  • After opening a bottle of PRADAXA, use within 4 months. See “How should I store PRADAXA?”
  • When it is time for you to take a dose of PRADAXA, only remove your prescribed dose of PRADAXA from your open bottle or blister package.
  • Tightly close your bottle of PRADAXA right away after you take your dose.
  • Swallow PRADAXA capsules whole. Do not break, chew, or empty the pellets from the capsule.
  • If you miss a dose of PRADAXA, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 6 hours away, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses of PRADAXA at the same time.
  • Your doctor will decide how long you should take PRADAXA. Do not stop taking PRADAXA without first talking with your doctor. Stopping PRADAXA may increase your risk of stroke.
  • Do not run out of PRADAXA. Refill your prescription before you run out. If you plan to have surgery, or a medical or a dental procedure, tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking PRADAXA. You may have to stop taking PRADAXA for a short time. See “What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?”
  • If you take too much PRADAXA, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call your doctor.
  • Call your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head. Your doctor or healthcare provider may need to check you.

What are the possible side effects of PRADAXA?

PRADAXA can cause serious side effects, including:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?”
  • Allergic Reactions. In some people, PRADAXA can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction, including hives, rash, and itching. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction with PRADAXA:
    • chest pain or chest tightness
    • swelling of your face or tongue
    • trouble breathing or wheezing
    • feeling dizzy or faint

Common side effects of PRADAXA include:

  • indigestion, upset stomach, or burning
  • stomach pain

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of PRADAXA. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1800-FDA-1088.

How should I store PRADAXA?

  • Store PRADAXA at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). After opening the bottle, use PRADAXA within 4 months. Safely throw away any unused PRADAXA after 4 months.
  • Keep PRADAXA in the original bottle or blister package to keep it dry (protect the capsules from moisture). Do not put PRADAXA in pill boxes or pill organizers.
  • Tightly close your bottle of PRADAXA right away after you take your dose.

Keep PRADAXA and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about PRADAXA

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use PRADAXA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give your PRADAXA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.

This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about PRADAXA. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for information about PRADAXA that is written for health professionals.

For more information, go to www.PRADAXA.com or call 1-800-542-6257 or (TTY) 1-800-4599906.

What are the ingredients in PRADAXA?

Active ingredient: dabigatran etexilate mesylate

Inactive ingredients: acacia, dimethicone, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, talc, and tartaric acid. The capsule shell is composed of carrageenan, FD&C Blue No. 2 (150 mg strength only), FD&C Yellow No. 6, hypromellose, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, and black edible ink.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

>

PATIENT INFORMATION

MEDICATION GUIDE

PRADAXA
(pra dax a)
(dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Capsules

Read this Medication Guide before you start taking PRADAXA and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?

  • PRADAXA can cause bleeding which can be serious, and sometimes lead to death. This is because PRADAXA is a blood thinner medicine that lowers the chance of blood clots forming in your body.
  • You may have a higher risk of bleeding if you take PRADAXA and:
    • are over 75 years old
    • have kidney problems
    • have stomach or intestine bleeding that is recent or keeps coming back, or you have a stomach ulcer
    • take other medicines that increase your risk of bleeding, including:
      • aspirin or aspirin containing products
      • long-term (chronic) use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
      • warfarin sodium (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
      • a medicine that contains heparin
      • clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix®)
      • prasugrel (Effient®)
    • have certain kidney problems and also take the medicines dronedarone (Multaq®) or ketoconazole tablets (Nizoral®).
      Tell your doctor if you take any of these medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above.
  • PRADAXA can increase your risk of bleeding because it lessens the ability of your blood to clot. While you take PRADAXA:
    • you may bruise more easily
    • it may take longer for any bleeding to stop

Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of these signs or symptoms of bleeding:

  • unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time, such as:
    • unusual bleeding from the gums
    • nose bleeds that happen often
    • menstrual bleeding or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal
  • bleeding that is severe or you cannot control
  • pink or brown urine
  • red or black stools (looks like tar)
  • bruises that happen without a known cause or get larger
  • cough up blood or blood clots
  • vomit blood or your vomit looks like “coffee grounds”
  • unexpected pain, swelling, or joint pain
  • headaches, feeling dizzy or weak

Take PRADAXA exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking PRADAXA without first talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. Stopping PRADAXA may increase your risk of a stroke.

PRADAXA may need to be stopped, if possible, for one or more days before any surgery, or medical or dental procedure. If you need to stop taking PRADAXA for any reason, talk to the doctor who prescribed PRADAXA for you to find out when you should stop taking it. Your doctor will tell you when to start taking PRADAXA again after your surgery or procedure.

See “What are the possible side effects of PRADAXA?” for more information about side effects.

What is PRADAXA?

PRADAXA is a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have a medical condition called atrial fibrillation. With atrial fibrillation, part of the heart does not beat the way it should. This can lead to blood clots forming and increase your risk of a stroke. PRADAXA is a blood thinner medicine that lowers the chance of blood clots forming in your body.

PRADAXA is not for use in people with artificial (prosthetic) heart valves.

It is not known if PRADAXA is safe and works in children.

Who should not take PRADAXA? Do not take PRADAXA if you:

  • currently have certain types of abnormal bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking PRADAXA if you currently have unusual bleeding.
  • have had a serious allergic reaction to PRADAXA. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
  • have ever had or plan to have a valve in your heart replaced

What should I tell my doctor before taking PRADAXA?

Before you take PRADAXA, tell your doctor if you:

  • have kidney problems
  • have ever had bleeding problems
  • have ever had stomach ulcers
  • have any other medical condition
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if PRADAXA will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if PRADAXA passes into your breast milk.

Tell all of your doctors and dentists that you are taking PRADAXA. They should talk to the doctor who prescribed PRADAXA for you, before you have any surgery, or medical or dental procedure.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Some of your other medicines may affect the way PRADAXA works. Certain medicines may increase your risk of bleeding. See “What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?

Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • rifampin (Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®, Rifadin®)

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take PRADAXA?

  • Take PRADAXA exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not take PRADAXA more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You can take PRADAXA with or without food.
  • PRADAXA comes in a bottle or in a blister package.
  • Only open 1 bottle of PRADAXA at a time. Finish your opened bottle of PRADAXA before opening a new bottle.
  • After opening a bottle of PRADAXA, use within 4 months. See “How should I store PRADAXA?”
  • When it is time for you to take a dose of PRADAXA, only remove your prescribed dose of PRADAXA from your open bottle or blister package.
  • Tightly close your bottle of PRADAXA right away after you take your dose.
  • Swallow PRADAXA capsules whole. Do not break, chew, or empty the pellets from the capsule.
  • If you miss a dose of PRADAXA, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 6 hours away, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses of PRADAXA at the same time.
  • Your doctor will decide how long you should take PRADAXA. Do not stop taking PRADAXA without first talking with your doctor. Stopping PRADAXA may increase your risk of stroke.
  • Do not run out of PRADAXA. Refill your prescription before you run out. If you plan to have surgery, or a medical or a dental procedure, tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking PRADAXA. You may have to stop taking PRADAXA for a short time. See “What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?”
  • If you take too much PRADAXA, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call your doctor.
  • Call your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head. Your doctor or healthcare provider may need to check you.

What are the possible side effects of PRADAXA?

PRADAXA can cause serious side effects, including:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?”
  • Allergic Reactions. In some people, PRADAXA can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction, including hives, rash, and itching. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction with PRADAXA:
    • chest pain or chest tightness
    • swelling of your face or tongue
    • trouble breathing or wheezing
    • feeling dizzy or faint

Common side effects of PRADAXA include:

  • indigestion, upset stomach, or burning
  • stomach pain

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of PRADAXA. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1800-FDA-1088.

How should I store PRADAXA?

  • Store PRADAXA at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). After opening the bottle, use PRADAXA within 4 months. Safely throw away any unused PRADAXA after 4 months.
  • Keep PRADAXA in the original bottle or blister package to keep it dry (protect the capsules from moisture). Do not put PRADAXA in pill boxes or pill organizers.
  • Tightly close your bottle of PRADAXA right away after you take your dose.

Keep PRADAXA and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about PRADAXA

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use PRADAXA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give your PRADAXA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.

This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about PRADAXA. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for information about PRADAXA that is written for health professionals.

For more information, go to www.PRADAXA.com or call 1-800-542-6257 or (TTY) 1-800-4599906.

What are the ingredients in PRADAXA?

Active ingredient: dabigatran etexilate mesylate

Inactive ingredients: acacia, dimethicone, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, talc, and tartaric acid. The capsule shell is composed of carrageenan, FD&C Blue No. 2 (150 mg strength only), FD&C Yellow No. 6, hypromellose, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, and black edible ink.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/10/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Disclaimer

Pradaxa Consumer

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

DABIGATRAN - ORAL

(DA-bi-GAT-ran)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pradaxa

USES: Dabigatran is used to prevent blood clots from forming because of a certain irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation). Preventing these blood clots helps to reduce the risk of a stroke. Dabigatran is also approved in Canada to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs or lungs after hip or knee replacement surgery.

Dabigatran is an anticoagulant that works by blocking a certain substance (a type of clotting protein called thrombin) in your blood.

HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking dabigatran and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or break open the capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Do not transfer this medication to a pill box or medication reminder box. It must be kept tightly closed in the original bottle (or blister package) to protect it from moisture. See Storage section for additional important details.

Dabigatran is usually taken once a day to prevent clots after surgery or twice a day to prevent clots from atrial fibrillation. Avoid antacids within 24 hours after surgery, or dabigatran may not work as well. It is very important to take it exactly as directed. Do not increase the dose, take it more frequently, or stop using it unless directed by your doctor.

Dosage and treatment length are based on your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment. The dosage may also be based on other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.

Disclaimer

Pradaxa Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Easy bruising or minor bleeding (such as nosebleed, bleeding from cuts) may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This medication can cause serious bleeding if it affects your blood clotting proteins too much. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of serious bleeding, including: unusual pain/swelling/discomfort, unusual/easy bruising, prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums, persistent/frequent nosebleeds, unusually heavy/prolonged menstrual flow, pink/dark urine, coughing up blood, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, severe headache, dizziness/fainting, unusual or persistent tiredness/weakness, bloody/black/tarry stools.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects: stomach/abdominal pain, severe heartburn/nausea/vomiting.

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious signs of bleeding occur: vision changes, confusion, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking dabigatran, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, bleeding problems (such as bleeding of the stomach/intestines, bleeding in the brain), blood disorders (such as anemia, hemophilia, thrombocytopenia), liver disease, recent major injury/surgery, infection in the heart (bacterial endocarditis), stroke, frequent falls/injuries.

It is important that all your doctors and dentists know that you take dabigatran. Before having surgery or any medical/dental procedures, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication and about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor may direct you to stop this medication before surgery. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.

Avoid getting injections into the muscles. If you must have an injection into the muscle (for example, a flu shot), it should be given in the arm. This way, it will be easier to check for bleeding and/or apply pressure bandages.

This medication may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit or avoid alcoholic beverages.

This medication can cause heavy bleeding. To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use great caution with sharp objects like safety razors and nail cutters. Use an electric razor when shaving and a soft toothbrush when brushing your teeth. Avoid activities such as contact sports. If you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head, call your doctor immediately. Your doctor may need to check you.

Older adults may be at greater risk for bleeding while using this drug.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.

Disclaimer

Pradaxa Consumer (continued)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as warfarin, enoxaparin).

Other medications can affect the removal of dabigatran from your body, which may affect how dabigatran works. Examples include amiodarone, dronedarone, ketoconazole, quinidine, rifampin, St. John's wort, and verapamil, among others.

Aspirin, aspirin-like drugs (salicylates), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib) may have effects similar to dabigatran. These drugs may increase the risk of bleeding problems if taken during treatment with dabigatran. Carefully check all prescription/nonprescription product labels (including drugs applied to the skin such as pain-relieving creams) since the products may contain NSAIDs or salicylates. Talk to your doctor about using a different medication (such as acetaminophen) to treat pain/fever. Ask your doctor if low-dose aspirin and related drugs (such as clopidogrel, ticlopidine) should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: bloody/black/tarry stools, pink/dark urine, unusual/prolonged bleeding.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney/liver function, clotting times) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is less than 6 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Open only one bottle at a time, and once the bottle is opened, the medication must be discarded after 4 months. If your capsules are in a blister package, then keep the capsules in the blister package until you are ready to take the medication. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition and medication can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-800-854-1166 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Information last revised November 2011. Copyright(c) 2011 First Databank, Inc.

Pradaxa Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Pradaxa

Generic Name: dabigatran (Pronunciation: da BIG a tran)

What is dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

Dabigatran keeps the platelets in your blood from coagulating (clotting).

Dabigatran is used to prevent blood clots and to reduce the risk of stroke in people with a certain type of heart rhythm disorder.

Dabigatran may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using dabigatran and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • any bleeding that will not stop;
  • weakness, feeling like you might pass out;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • pink or brown urine;
  • joint pain or swelling; or
  • heavy menstrual bleeding.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stomach pain or upset, indigestion, heartburn;
  • nausea, diarrhea; or
  • mild skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

What is the most important information I should know about dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

You should not take dabigatran if you are allergic to it, or if you have any active bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other cause.

Before taking dabigatran, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding, or if you are using a blood thinner such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

Tell your doctor if you have recently used or received any other medications to treat or prevent blood clots.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open a dabigatran capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

If you need surgery, dental work, or any type of medical test or treatment, tell the doctor or dentist ahead of time if you have taken dabigatran within the past 12 hours. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time for surgery or other medical procedures. Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor.

Because dabigatran keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, this medicine can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

Stop taking dabigatran and call your doctor at once if you have any signs of bleeding such as weakness, feeling like you might pass out, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin, pink or brown urine, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood, joint pain or swelling, or heavy menstrual bleeding.

Side Effects Centers

Pradaxa Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

You should not take dabigatran if you are allergic to it, or if you have any active bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other cause.

To make sure you can safely take dabigatran, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding; or
  • if you are older than 75.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dabigatran will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether dabigatran passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open a dabigatran capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

Because dabigatran keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, this medicine can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have any bleeding that will not stop.

If you need surgery, dental work, or any type of medical test or treatment, tell the doctor or dentist ahead of time if you have taken dabigatran within the past 12 hours. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time for surgery or other medical procedures.

Do not stop taking dabigatran without first talking to your doctor.

Store in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep each capsule in the bottle or blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

If you have received more than a 30-day supply of this medication, do not open more than one bottle at a time. Open a new bottle only after all the capsules in the old bottle are gone. Throw away any unused capsules 30 days after opening the bottle. Capsules stored in a blister pack should be thrown away after the expiration date on the label has passed.

Side Effects Centers

Pradaxa Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Pradaxa)?

If you are less than 6 hours late in taking your medicine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Try not to miss any doses of dabigatran to best prevent a stroke.

What happens if I overdose (Pradaxa)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include excessive bleeding or any bleeding that will not stop.

What should I avoid while taking dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.

What other drugs will affect dabigatran (Pradaxa)?

Before you take dabigatran, tell your doctor if you have recently received any other medications to treat or prevent blood clots, such as:

  • heparin or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • abciximab (ReoPro), anagrelide (Agrylin), cilostazol (Pletal), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine, Aggrenox), eptifibatide (Integrelin), prasugrel (Effient), ticlopidine (Ticlid), tirofiban (Aggrastat);
  • argatroban (Acova), bivalirudin (Angiomax), lepirudin (Refludan);
  • dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), fondaparinux (Arixtra), tinzaparin (Innohep); or
  • alteplase (Activase), tenecteplase (TNKase), urokinase (Abbokinase).

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate);
  • quinidine (Guin-G);
  • St. John's wort;
  • antifungal medicine such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and others; or
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dronedarone (Multaq), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with dabigatran. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about dabigatran.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision date: 7/19/2011.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read,understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement,which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

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