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FDA study of Medicare patients finds risks lower for stroke and death but higher for gastrointestinal bleeding with Pradaxa (dabigatran) compared to warfarin
This information is in follow-up to the FDA Drug Safety Communication: Update on the risk for serious bleeding events with the anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran) that was issued on November 2, 2012.
This information reflects FDA's current analysis of data available to FDA concerning this drug. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.
In its ongoing review of the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently completed a new study in Medicare patients comparing Pradaxa to the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven, and generics), for risk of ischemic or clot-related stroke, bleeding in the brain, major gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, myocardial infarction (MI), and death. Pradaxa and warfarin are used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with a common type of abnormal heart rhythm called non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).
The new study included information from more than 134,000 Medicare patients, 65 years or older, and found that among new users of blood-thinning drugs, Pradaxa was associated with a lower risk of clot-related strokes, bleeding in the brain, and death, than warfarin. The study also found an increased risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding with use of Pradaxa as compared to warfarin. The MI risk was similar for the two drugs.
Importantly, the new study is based on a much larger and older patient population than those used in FDA's earlier review of post-market data, and employed a more sophisticated analytical method to capture and analyze the events of concern. This study's findings, except with regard to MI, are consistent with the clinical trial results that provided the basis for Pradaxa's approval.