|Type of medicine||Anticoagulant|
|Used for||To prevent formation of harmful blood clots for people with a certain type of atrial fibrillation (irregular fast heartbeat). It is usually prescribed when there are likely to be additional benefits of taking dabigatran - reducing the likelihood of damage resulting from these clots, eg in patients who have had a stroke, or have high blood pressure or some forms of heart disease. Dabigatran may also be used for patients having hip or knee surgery.|
Dabigatran works by preventing the blood from clotting as quickly or as effectively as normal. It interferes with chemicals needed to make clots or clotting factors. This means that it can be used to prevent blood clots from forming in veins and arteries - for example, clots in your legs, lungs, brain or heart.
Warfarin is the most commonly used anticoagulant in the UK, and has been used for many years. However, people who take warfarin need to have regular blood tests to measure how quickly their blood clots. This often means that the dose of warfarin can change quite frequently. Dabigatran is a new type of anticoagulant and works in a slightly different way to warfarin. People who take dabigatran do not need to have regular blood tests. However, they still need to have occasional blood tests to make sure their kidneys are working well. In addition, for most people the dose of dabigatran remains the same throughout treatment.
Before taking dabigatran make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
Along with their useful effects all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects, which usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Nosebleed||Contact your doctor as soon as possible|
|Bleeding from the penis/vagina or urinary tract||Contact your doctor as soon as possible|
|Bleeding from the stomach or bowel (stools may be bright red or black)||Contact your doctor as soon as possible|
|Feeling sick, belly ache or stomach ache, indigestion||See your doctor if this persists|
|Frequent loose or liquid bowel movements||See your doctor if this persists|
|Unusual laboratory test results on liver function||Your doctor will measure this and advise you what to do|
Important: if you experience bleeding, speak with your doctor immediately or go to your local accident and emergency department without delay.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.