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Pradaxa Side Effects Outweigh Any Supposed Benefit In Terms of Patient Safety

While Pradaxa, a recently developed oral anticoagulant intended to combat the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), was created with an eye to sidestepping many of the limitations associated with Warfarin, Pradaxa’s main competitor, new and potentially more dangerous hazards have arisen with respect to its prescription. Boehringer Ingelheim, the international pharmaceutical corporation responsible for creating Pradaxa, has claimed that the new drug represents a supposed “therapeutic simplification,” as it eliminates the need for periodic monitoring through blood tests, has fewer drug interactions than warfarin, and can be administered as an easy, one size fits all dose (150 mg twice a day). Most importantly, the “RE-LY Clinical Trial” (Randomized Evaluation of Long – term anticoagulant therapy) sponsored by BI so as to demonstrate Pradaxa’s feasibility, concluded that the drug has lower overall total bleeds vs. warfarin. Nevertheless, statistics have shown that with Pradaxa there is a higher rate of major GI bleeds and a similar rate of major bleeds as compared to warfarin. For patients 75 years of age or older, there was a trend towards a higher incidence of major bleeding on Pradaxa. Due to its flawed formulation, Pradaxa levels in the blood are near impossible to assess and bleeds cannot be stopped as there is no known reversal antidote. In effect, BI has merely succeeded in designing a new drug, Pradaxa, which is perhaps easier to use and administer but offers no significant advantages in terms of patient health and safety.

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