Product News and Recalls

Doctor says blood thinner carries risks

In a column in the Spokesman-Review out of Washington, Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., answers a letter-writer’s question about the blood-thinner Pradaxa.

The letter-writer says his wife has atrial fibrillation, and her medication was recently changed from warfarin to Pradaxa. He wants to know if she’s right in claiming that the medicine is just as effective, although it requires fewer tests.

Komaroff writes that technically, Pradaxa is just as effective in preventing blood clots. But Pradaxa presents some risks that warfarin, the standard treatment for decades, does not.

One of those risks is that there’s no proven antidote to rapidly reverse the anti-clotting effects of Pradaxa in the event of a bleeding emergency.

The medication has been linked to serious internal bleeding, and has been the subject of thousands of adverse effect reports to the FDA, including about 600 deaths.

Komaroff writes that another problem associated with Pradaxa is that the drug has a short half-life and is largely out of a patient’s system in less than 24 hours. That means patients who miss a dose have an increased risk of developing a blood clot, compared to missed doses of warfarin.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a lawyer if you have injuries connected with Pradaxa.

See the column here: