Pradaxa vs. Warfarin: Which Blood Thinner Is Best?

Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 02:23 AM

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Blood thinners such as warfarin have been used for many years for preventing and stroke and atrial fibrillation. Pradaxa has become a wonder drug as a blood thinner replacing warfarin in many cases. However, there are some side effects associated with Pradaxa that have been encountered recently that makes one wonder which is the best blood thinner that could be used as medication, warfarin or Pradaxa?

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Warfarin Medication and Side Effects
 
Warfarin has been used for many years to decrease the tendency of thrombosis and secondary prophylaxis. Warfarin medication is best suited as a blood thinner for those who are at risk of blood clot formation in the future. However, the dosage of warfarin medication is complicated and it interacts with many foods and drugs. Some major side effects such as the following are caused by warfarin:
 
• Hemorrhage

• Warfarin necrosis

• Osteoporosis

• Purple toe syndrome in which the skin of the feet become purple-colored owing to accumulation of small cholesterol deposits causing embolism

• Calcification of valves and arteries

Intravenous Vitamin K has been known to be an effective antidote for warfarin overdose and to reverse the side effects of warfarin medication.

Pradaxa and Side Effects

Pradaxa is a medication that can be administered orally. Some studies suggest that it is the best blood thinner since there are fewer contraindications such as hemorrhage, gastrointestinal upset, and heart attack risk.

• Studies show that around 500 deaths have been caused in the U.S. due to unstoppable bleeding after administering Pradaxa.

• There is no known antidote for Pradaxa as of date and side effects of bleeding, tremors, and fainting.

With Pradaxa medication, side effects were better associated with the following risk factors:
 
• Impaired kidney functions
 
Older age
 
Taking aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Pradaxa vs. Warfarin as Blood Thinner Medications

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that warfarin reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, warfarin medication increased the risk of hemorrhage. Not only this, warfarin is a more difficult drug to use. Warfarin has to be injected into the blood stream and the levels of warfarin medication have to be monitored more stringently.
 
Alternatively, Pradaxa is an oral drug that makes administering the medication a lot easier. Also, Pradaxa is a direct thrombin inhibitor. According to a recent meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Circulation, the bleeding complication from administering Pradaxa medication for atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism are much better manageable than the bleeding outcomes caused by warfarin medication.
 
Given the current understanding and ongoing research, Pradaxa has definitely exhibited better qualities as a blood thinner while being associated with lesser and manageable side effects in comparison with warfarin. However, only with further research and time can we say, it is the best blood thinner available

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