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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


 

Ask Dr. Gourmet



What do you think about Pradaxa, the new blood thinner?

Any comments about the new drug that has just been approved by the FDA and supposedly will take Warfarin's place - Pradaxa?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

I don't normally answer questions not related to diet and nutrition but many of our readers are Coumadin (warfarin) users so I will make an exception.

This medication has been approved by the FDA only for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Dabigatran has been on the market for some time in Europe. I actually had a few patients in the clinical trials before approval (they did well, by the way). It was shown to be slightly more effective than warfarin and slightly lower risk of major bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke.

It has not been approved for other uses such as chronic blood clotting disorders, acute blood clots and artificial heart valves. Nor is it approved for prevention of stroke in those patients who do not have atrial fibrillation.

It is much more expensive than Coumadin or generic warfarin, even when one includes the cost of testing that is involved in monitoring INR levels.

Check with your physician to see if this is an alternative for you.

More information:

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm230241.htm

http://www.genomeweb.com/dxpgx/when-might-warfarin-pgx-be-better-pradaxa-stakeholders-weigh

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aG8Lo.9_0PZA

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet