Dabigatran. Information for patients UHN. Read this medicine fact sheet to learn about: What is the name of my medicine? Other names for this medicine

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1 Dabigatran Information for patients UHN Read this medicine fact sheet to learn about: What this medicine is Why you need to take it What side effects to watch for What is the name of my medicine? Dabigatran etexilate (pronounced da BIG a tran ett EX ill ate) Other names for this medicine Pradaxa What is dabigatran? Dabigatran is a drug called an anticoagulant. Anticoagulants prevent blood clots from forming. Please visit the UHN Patient Education website for more health information: University Health Network. All rights reserved. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for non-commercial personal use only. Author: Diana Mourao Created: 05/2014 Form: D-3284

2 Why do I need to take this medicine? To lower the chance of stroke and blood clots in people with an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. To lower your chance of having a stroke by helping to prevent blood clots from forming. If you had knee or hip replacement surgery, to prevent blood clots in your legs or in your lungs. How do I take this medicine? My dose of dabigatran is mg pill by mouth every day. Swallow whole. Do not chew, open or crush the pill. Take dabigatran exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you take dabigatran for atrial fibrillation: Take dabigatran 2 times a day with or without food. Take the second dose 12 hours after you take the first dose. If you take dabigatran to prevent blood clots after hip or knee replacement surgery: Take dabigatran one time a day with or without food. If you need to stop taking dabigatran for any reason, talk to the doctor who prescribed dabigatran for you to find out when you should stop taking it. Your doctor will tell you when to start taking dabigatran again. 2

3 What do I do if I miss a dose? It is important that you remember to take your dose of dabigatran as missing a dose may increase your risk of forming a clot or having a stroke. Remember to refill your prescription before you run out. If you miss a dose, take that dose as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 6 hours away, skip the missed dose. Do not take 2 doses of dabigatran at the same time. Do NOT stop taking dabigatran without first talking to your doctor. Stopping dabigatran may raise your chance of having a stroke. What are the side effects of this medicine? Bleeding Bruising more easily Taking longer than usual for any bleeding to stop Having more sensitive gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth Other common side effects include: Indigestion, upset stomach or burning Stomach pain Some side effects may go away as your body gets used to the medicine. 3

4 Call your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency department if you have these signs of bleeding: Unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time such as: Unusual bleeding from the gums Nose bleeds that happen often Menstrual bleeding or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal A lot of bleeding that you cannot control Pink or brown urine Red or black stools (looks like tar) Bruises that happen without a known cause or get larger Coughing or vomiting blood (vomit looks like coffee grounds ) Unexpected pain, swelling or joint pain A very strong headache, dizziness or weakness that does not go away Fall or injury to the head If you take too much dabigatran, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Can I take other drugs while I am on dabigatran? Tell your doctor about medicines you take. This includes prescription, non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some of your other medicines may affect the way dabigatran works. Keep a list of them and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get new medicine. 4

5 How should I store this medicine? Your pharmacist will give you dabigatran in an individual unit dose blister package because the pills cannot get wet. Store the pills in the original package at room temperature. Keep the pills away from liquids. Do not put the pills in another container such as a pill box or pill organizer. Be careful when you take out the pills from the package. Peel off the foil from the blister card. Do not push the pill through the blister foil. Do not peel the foil until you need a capsulepill. What should I remember while taking this medicine? Tell all of your doctors, including your dentist, that you are taking dabigatran. They should talk to the doctor who prescribed dabigatran for you, before you have any surgery, or medical or dental procedure. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using dabigatran while you are pregnant. Tell your doctor is you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby. Who do I talk to if I have a question or concern? If you are worried about side effects or you have any questions about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information and advice. This site does not provide medical advice. These sheets are developed by the UHN Pharmacy Department. They are provided for informational purposes only. These sheets are meant to supplement a discussion with the pharmacist. Please contact a pharmacist or other health care professionals if you have any further questions regarding this medication. 5

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