The Journal of Neurosurgery recently published a case report detailing the irreversible bleeding complications that may arise from use of dabigatran, the anticoagulant drug also known as Pradaxa. Approved for sale in the U.S. in October 2010, public health concern has arisen due to numerous adverse events reported as a result of taking this anticoagulant drug. Indeed, according to data from the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), Pradaxa (dabigatran) was the prescription drug with the highest number of adverse event reports filed with the FDA in 2011.
Pradaxa (dabigatran) was introduced as an alternative to warfarin, an anticoagulant that has been on the market for over fifty years. However, Pradaxa (dabigatran) poses a unique risk to the patient in that there is no effective reversal agent for the drug currently on the market. According to the authors of this case report, if a patient were to suffer a traumatic hemorrhage as a result of taking Pradaxa (dabigatran), there are currently no reversal agents that would inhibit the anticoagulant effects of the drug.
According to the authors, Pradaxa (dabigatran) is often prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation, a condition frequently seen in the elderly population. Unfortunately, these individuals are often prone to falls. The trauma from a fall may in turn produce brain hemorrhaging that can be exacerbated by the use of Pradaxa (dabigatran).
See the case report from the Journal of Neurosurgery at: