New Anti-Coagulant for Atrial Fibrillation

Here is important new information for my nurses and nursing students:

Anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa) can now be considered as an alternative to warfarin (Coumadin) as treatment for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation.

Researchers have concluded that Pradaxa offers some significant advantages to Coumadin. Patients on Pradaxa have a lower risk of bleeding and therefore need less monitoring for changes in clotting parameters.

Both drugs reduce the risk of systemic emboli, clots that form in the atria in patients with atrial fibrillation and travel to the brain, causing strokes. Research has not shown a difference in mortality for patients treated with one drug rather than the other. But a disadvantage of Pradaxa is that it must be taken twice daily while Coumadin only needs to be taken once. Pradaxa is more expensive.

Warfarin has been approved for use since 1954.

Read more about atrial fibrillation from AHA.
Read more about atrial fibrillation from Wikipedia.
Read the press release from Pradaxa’s manufacturer.
Click here for Pradaxa’s website.

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About Michele G. Kunz

I am a nursing educator and AHA Certified Instructor and I specialize in providing AHA Certification classes in ACLS, BLS, and PALS to healthcare professionals and students. I am also a certified six-sigma green belt (CSSGB).
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1 Response to New Anti-Coagulant for Atrial Fibrillation

  1. Susan Zito says:

    Treatment with PRADAXA does not require blood monitoring or related dose adjustments and has no recommended dietary restrictions.
    This is from the manufacturer’s web site provided above. Very helpful to me.I first heard of this medication 3 days ago while working in the OR. The patient to follow for elective surgery was taking PRADAXA and the holding room nurses were questioning the surgeon if he would like blood work drawn .This would have caused a delay in surgery and was not needed. No one including the surgeon, anesthesia or the RN’s had heard of this new medication. A call to pharmacy cleared it up. I feel better informed with the imformation you provided . Thank you.

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