11 Oct 2011
Yes. Dabigatran (brand name Pradaxa) has been approved for use in many other countries as a substitute for Warfarin/Coumadin. It has been used as the drug of choice in Canada since 2008 to treat postoperative patients that have had hip replacement or knee surgery. Because these patients are immobile for long periods of time post operatively they are at a higher risk for DVT. Before Pradaxa, the only option was Warfarin/Coumadin for these patients. While it is a relatively new drug it is emerging that it is superior to it's predecessors in many ways. One is the elimination of routine PT/INR testing. Another is very few harmful side effects compared statistically with Warfarin/Coumadin. A good resource is Pradaxa.com with current information and forums for users to interact in.
14 Jan 2012
So what do you have and what country are you in? If you are in the US, you would be using the Pradaxa as an "off label" drug if you are treating for DVT or PE. You would be better off switching to Arixtra or Lovenox if you want to get off of the Coumadin. There are too many unanswered questions with Pradaxa so I would wait until all of the test results are in for the other indications.
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