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Study: More Bleeding with Pradaxa than Warfarin

People who take dabigatran (Pradaxa) to prevent stroke may have more bleeding problems than those taking warfarin (Coumadin), a study finds. But people taking warfarin had a higher risk of bleeding in or around the brain. Dabigatran was first approved in 2010. It reduces stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm. Warfarin has been used for this purpose for many years. The new study used Medicare data to look at real-world use of dabigatran. The study included about 9,400 people with atrial fibrillation. About 1,300  were prescribed dabigatran. More than 8,100 received warfarin. Researchers kept track of them for up to a year. In that time, about 9% of those taking dabigatran had major bleeding. About 33% had any bleeding problem. Among people taking warfarin, 6% had major bleeding. About 27% had any bleeding.

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