Lovenox vs. Pradaxa

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Prevents blood clots. Lovenox (Enoxaparin) is a good anticoagulant that reduces the risk of death or bleeding, and blood clots are less likely to happen. However, it is only available as an injection which isn't great if you're afraid of needles.Prevents blood clots. Pradaxa (Dabigatran) is a good medication for preventing blood clots. It doesn't require regular blood tests or changing doses often. It can be expensive and there's no way to reverse the medication's effects.
How it works
Lovenox (Enoxaparin) is an anticoagulant that prevents certain blood-clotting proteins from working. By stopping blood clots from forming, there's a lower chance of having a stroke or blood clots travel to your lungs.Pradaxa (Dabigatran) is an anticoagulant that stops the formation of blood clots.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Thrombin inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
  • Injection site hematoma 7%
  • Fever 2%
  • Confusion 1%
  • Nausea 1%
More Lovenox side effects »

The Pradaxa FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Pradaxa side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Spinal puncture (spinal tap)
  • Getting anesthesia in the spine (epidural anesthesia)
  • Taking NSAIDs or other blood thinning medicines
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Stopping Lovenox (Enoxaparin) early
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed Lovenox (Enoxaparin) risks & warnings »
  • Stopping Pradaxa (Dabigatran) too soon
  • Spinal tap
  • Anesthesia along the spine (epidural anesthesia)
  • Taking NSAIDs, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medicines
  • Drug interactions
  • Taking with NSAIDs, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medicines
    • Artificial heart valve
    Detailed Pradaxa (Dabigatran) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • It doesn't work as well as other medications for "thinning the blood" if you are overweight, underweight, or if you have kidney disease.
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • In a study that compared Lovenox (Enoxaparin) to other medications used to stop blood clots, there was a lower risk of clots coming back, with similar rates of major bleeding and mortality.
    • You don't need to go in for lab tests to check whether it's working, unlike other medications like warfarin that require regular blood draws.
    • Available in generic so it can be cheaper than other "blood thinners".
    • Good option if you're pregnant or have cancer.
    • Clinical studies have shown that the risk of stroke and blood clots is lower than with warfarin, another popular "blood thinner" (anticoagulant).
    • Doesn't require regular blood tests or frequent dose changes.
    • In studies comparing Pradaxa (Dabigatran) to other "blood thinners", it worked just as well in preventing strokes and was better in lowering the risk of bleeding.
    Downsides and risks
    • It is only available as an injection, so it's not great if you're afraid of needles.
    • While surprise bleeding episodes can be treated while taking Lovenox (Enoxaparin), they won't completely work.
    • It doesn't work as well as other medications for "thinning the blood" if you are overweight, underweight, or if you have kidney disease.
    • Not available as generic.
    • There are no antidotes to stop bleeding caused by taking too much Pradaxa (Dabigatran).
    • Can't take during pregnancy.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • Rotate the spot where you inject Lovenox (Enoxaparin) every day.
    • While on this, it can take longer to stop bleeding and you are more likely to bruise or bleed more easily.
    • Avoid taking certain anti-inflammatory drugs (like NSAIDs) because they can make you more likely to bleed.
    • Can cause swelling in your legs, diarrhea, and nausea.
    • Pradaxa (Dabigatran) is an anticoagulant, so it's important not to miss a dose. Don't stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor first.
    • When taking Pradaxa (Dabigatran), you can bleed more easily, so use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor to avoid cutting yourself.
    • Take this exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to.
    • Take with a full glass of water. Swallow the capsule whole. Don't chew, break, or open the capsule.
    Learn more
    More about LovenoxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about PradaxaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert