Compare Pradaxa vs. Heparin

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

Pradaxa
(Dabigatran)

Heparin

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.Prevents blood clots. Heparin is a good anticoagulant that prevents blood clots. However, you'll need to get frequent blood tests to make sure it's working well.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Pradaxa (Dabigatran)?
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Have you used Heparin?
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Side effects
PradaxaHeparin

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

More about Pradaxa side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Heparin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Heparin »
How it works
PradaxaHeparin
Pradaxa (Dabigatran) is an anticoagulant that stops the formation of blood clots.Heparin is an anticoagulant that binds with proteins and platelets to stop blood clots from being made and traveling to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Type of medication
PradaxaHeparin
Anticoagulant
Thrombin inhibitor
Prescription only
Anticoagulant
Heparin
Prescription only
Available as
PradaxaHeparin
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
PradaxaHeparin
Risk factors for serious side effects
PradaxaHeparin
  • Stopping Pradaxa (Dabigatran) too soon
  • Spinal tap
  • Anesthesia along the spine (epidural anesthesia)
  • Taking NSAIDs, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medicines
  • Drug interactions
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Upsides and benefits
PradaxaHeparin
  • 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.
  • Safe to use in pregnancy and if you're breast feeding.
  • There are other medications that can help stop unexpected bleeding while taking Heparin.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Usually used in the hospital, but can be given at home too.
Downsides and risks
PradaxaHeparin
  • Not available as generic.
  • There are no antidotes to stop bleeding caused by taking too much Pradaxa (Dabigatran).
  • Can't take during pregnancy.
  • You'll need to get labs/blood draws done on a regular basis to make sure the drug is working and to make sure you don't get unexpected side effects.
  • You can be at higher risk for bleeding or clotting while taking Heparin compared to other anticoagulants.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PradaxaHeparin
  • 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.
  • Make sure to change where you inject Heparin every time.
  • Don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications without talking to your doctor first.
  • You will have to do regular blood draws or labs to make sure that Heparin is working for you.
Learn more
More about PradaxaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pradaxa (Dabigatran)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about HeparinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Heparin?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it