Compare Plavix vs. Pradaxa

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



Prevents blood clots. Plavix (Clopidogrel) works well to prevent blood clots and heart complications, but watch out for drug interactions.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Plavix (Clopidogrel)
of people (All ages) say Plavix (Clopidogrel) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
339 reviews
Have you used Plavix (Clopidogrel)?
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Have you used Pradaxa (Dabigatran)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • Minor bleeding 3%
  • Major bleeding 1%
  • Any noncerebral bleeding 1%
More Plavix side effects »

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

More about Pradaxa side effects »
How it works
Plavix (Clopidogrel) is an antiplatelet blood thinner. It prevents blood platelets from working, which makes it harder for your body to form blood clots.Pradaxa (Dabigatran) is an anticoagulant that stops the formation of blood clots.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Thrombin inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Genetic variation (CYP2C19 poor metabolizer)
  • Drug-interactions
  • Age greater than 65
  • History of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Drug interactions
  • Certain genetic disposition
    Detailed Plavix (Clopidogrel) 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
      No specific food related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • Thins your blood to protect your heart after a heart attack or after a procedure on your heart.
      • Studies have shown clopidogrel lowers your risk of death or further heart complications.
      • 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
      • Raises your risk of bleeding and bruising.
      • Lots of interactions with other drugs or supplements. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new meds.
      • Doesn't work well for people with certain genetic variations.
      • 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
      • Thins your blood to prevent clots from forming or getting bigger. Doesn't break up existing clots.
      • Can raise your risk of bleeding or bruising.
      • Take it exactly as instructed.
      • Interacts with a lot of medicines and supplements. Don't start any new meds without talking to your doctor.
      • Let your doctor know about any fever, weakness, or unusual bleeding or bruising.
      • 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 PlavixSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Plavix (Clopidogrel)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about PradaxaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Pradaxa (Dabigatran)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it