dabigatran etexilate mesylate (PRADAXA®)

Usual Dosing (Adults)

Mechanism of Action:
Dabigatran and its acyl glucuronides are competitive, direct thrombin inhibitors. Because thrombin (serine protease) enables the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin during the coagulation cascade, its inhibition prevents the development of a thrombus. Both free and clot-bound thrombin, and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation are inhibited by the active moieties.

PRADAXA is indicated to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Recommended Dose:
For patients with creatinine clearance (CrCl) >30 mL/min, the recommended dose of PRADAXA is 150 mg taken orally, twice daily, with or without food. For patients with CrCl 15-30 mL/min, the recommended dose is 75 mg twice daily. Dosing recommendations for patients with a CrCL <15 mL/min or on dialysis cannot be provided.

Instruct patients to swallow the capsules whole. Breaking, chewing, or emptying the contents of the capsule can result in increased exposure. If a dose of PRADAXA is not taken at the scheduled time, the dose should be taken as soon as possible on the same day; the missed dose should be skipped if it cannot be taken at least 6 hours before the next scheduled dose. The dose of PRADAXA should not be doubled to make up for a missed dose.
Converting from or to Warfarin:
When converting patients from warfarin therapy to PRADAXA, discontinue warfarin and start PRADAXA when the international normalized ratio (INR) is below 2.0.
When converting from PRADAXA to warfarin, adjust the starting time of warfarin based on creatinine clearance as follows:
For CrCl >50 mL/min, start warfarin 3 days before discontinuing PRADAXA.
For CrCl 31-50 mL/min, start warfarin 2 days before discontinuing PRADAXA.
For CrCl 15-30 mL/min, start warfarin 1 day before discontinuing PRADAXA.
For CrCl <15 mL/min, no recommendations can be made.

Because PRADAXA can contribute to an elevated INR, the INR will better reflect warfarin’s effect after PRADAXA has been stopped for at least 2 days.
Converting from or to Parenteral Anticoagulants:
For patients currently receiving a parenteral anticoagulant, start PRADAXA 0 to 2 hours before the time that the next dose of the parenteral drug was to have been administered or at the time of discontinuation of a continuously administered parenteral drug (e.g., intravenous unfractionated heparin).

For patients currently taking PRADAXA, wait 12 hours (CrCl geq30 mL/min) or 24 hours (CrCl <30 mL/min) after the last dose of PRADAXA before initiating treatment with a parenteral anticoagulant.
Surgery and Interventions:
If possible, discontinue PRADAXA 1 to 2 days (CrCl geq50 mL/min) or 3 to 5 days (CrCl <50 mL/min) before invasive or surgical procedures because of the increased risk of bleeding. Consider longer times for patients undergoing major surgery, spinal puncture, or placement of a spinal or epidural catheter or port, in whom complete hemostasis may be required.

If surgery cannot be delayed, there is an increased risk of bleeding. This risk of bleeding should be weighed against the urgency of intervention. Bleeding risk can be assessed by the ecarin clotting time (ECT). This test is a better marker of the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran than activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT)/INR, or thrombin time (TT). If ECT is not available, the aPTT test provides an approximation of PRADAXA’s anticoagulant activity.

Renal Dosing

dialysis See dosage information above. 

Renal Impairment
No dose adjustment of PRADAXA is recommended in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment. Reduce the dose of PRADAXA in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl 15-30 mL/min). Dosing recommendations for patients with CrCl <15 mL/min or on dialysis cannot be provided.


dialysis Dosing recommendations for patients with CrCl <15 mL/min or on dialysis cannot be provided.


National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, DailyMed Database.
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