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Pradaxa Linked to Heart Attacks

Pradaxa Linked to Heart Attacks

A new study has found that Pradaxa (dabigatran) may increase your risk of a heart attack. One study found that the risk of heart attack may be more than 38% higher for people who take Pradaxa than other blood-thinning medications.

The largest study of Pradaxa, the RE-LY clinical trial, followed more than 18,000 people, who were given either Pradaxa or warfarin to treat atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat that can form blood clots that cause stroke. Though a 150-mg dose of Pradaxa was superior to warfarin for preventing strokes and blood clots, there was a 38% increase in the risk of heart attack.

A post-hoc analysis of the link between Pradaxa and heart attacks took into account the use of Pradaxa in patient populations in seven additional trials, including more than 30,500 patients who were taking Pradaxa to for reasons other than atrial fibrillation. When these studies were taken into account, the risk of heart attack was decreased. However, when the other studies were excluded, and the researchers examined the RE-LY data, the higher risk of heart attack was significant.

The authors of the study concluded that the benefit of using Pradaxa to reduce the chance of suffering an ischemic stroke may outweigh the increased risk of a heart attack. Patients should discuss the increased risk of a heart attack with their health care provider to make an informed decision about what stroke-prevention medication to take.

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