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Dabigatran use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 18, 2022.

Drugs containing Dabigatran: Pradaxa

Dabigatran Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

In adults, less than 7% of dabigatran is absorbed orally in its prodrug form of dabigatran etexilate mesylate; dabigatran itself is not absorbed orally. Preliminary data from 2 individuals indicate that dabigatran is poorly excreted into breastmilk and unlikely to affect the breastfed infant. If dabigatran is required by the mother, it is not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. Because data are limited, monitor preterm or newborn infants for signs of bleeding.[1,2]

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. In preliminary results from a study on dabigatran in breastmilk, two patients received oral dabigatran etexilate 220 mg (2.5 and 2.7 mg/kg dabigatran). Dabigatran was first detectable in milk 2 to 3 hours after the dose. Peak milk levels occurred at 7 hours after the dose. Milk concentrations at this time were 8.2 mcg/L and 52.6 mcg/L, respectively. Average maximum estimated daily infant dosages on day 5 postpartum were 0.35 and 2.7 mcg/kg, respectively. These values corresponded to weight-adjusted dosages of 0.01 and 0.07% of the maternal dosage. On days 1 and 3 postpartum, estimated dosages were somewhat less.[1]

Infant Levels. Measurements of dabigatran in infant plasma after breastfeeding have not been made. However, based on data from 2 infants and assuming complete dabigatran absorption by the infant, investigators estimated that infant plasma levels would be less than 0.1 ng/L on days 1, 3 and 5 postpartum with a maternal dosage of 220 mg of dabigatran etexilate mesylate.[1]

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Samples of newborn and preterm infant blood spiked with of dabigatran in the concentrations found in breastmilk after a 220 mg dose of dabigatran etexilate indicate that no effect on coagulation would occur.[1]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Acenocoumarol, Dalteparin, Enoxaparin, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Warfarin


Ayuk P, Kampouraki E, Truemann A, et al. Investigation of dabigatran secretion into breast milk: Implications for oral thromboprophylaxis in post-partum women. Am J Hematol. 2020;95:E10–E3. [PubMed: 31599003]
Daei M, Khalili H, Heidari Z. Direct oral anticoagulant safety during breastfeeding: A narrative review. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2021 [PubMed: 33963877]

Substance Identification

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Drug Class

Breast Feeding




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Further information

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