What is dabigatran?
- stroke in people with a heart condition called atrial fibrillation who also have at least one other risk factor for stroke, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- serious blood clots (venous thromboembolism or VTE) in people who have had hip or knee replacement surgery.
How does it work?
Dabigatran helps prevent blood clots from forming. It works by blocking a blood-clotting protein called thrombin. Anticoagulants like dabigatran are sometimes called ‘blood thinners’, but this is not how they actually work. They do not make your blood thinner, but instead just cause it to take longer to clot.
Note: Dabigatran doesn’t treat the irregular heartbeat of atrial fibrillation or the rate of your heartbeat. Your doctor may prescribe other medicines or treatments for this.
Find out more about:
- Rossi S, ed. eAMH [online]. Australian Medicines Handbook, January 2013. www.amh.net.au (accessed June 2013).
- Cardiovascular Expert Group. Therapeutic guidelines: cardiovascular. Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd; 2013. www.tg.org.au (accessed June 2013).
- NPS Medicine Update, April 2010. Dabigatran (Pradaxa) for preventing blood clots after hip or knee replacement surgery
- NPS Medicine Update, August 2011. Dabigatran (Pradaxa) for preventing stroke in people with atrial fibrillation