Compare Pradaxa vs. Heparin

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

Pradaxa (Dabigatran)

Prescription only

Heparin

Prescription only
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.

Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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Side effects
10possible side effects
  • GI side effect
    35%
  • Any side effect
    21%
  • Any bleed
    20%
  • Dyspepsia
    8%
  • Major gastrointestinal bleed
    6%
  • Major bleed
    3%
  • GI bleed
    3%
  • Gastritis-like symptoms
    3%
  • Life-threatening bleed
    2%
  • Gastrointestinal bleed
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Heparin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Blood clots
    • Stopping Pradaxa (Dabigatran) too soon
  • Blood clot in the spine
    • Spinal tap
    • Anesthesia along the spine (epidural anesthesia)
    • Taking NSAIDs, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medicines
  • Unusual bleeding
    • Drug interactions
    • Taking with NSAIDs, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medicines
  • Stomach or intestinal problems
  • Increased risk of stroke or bleeding
    • Artificial heart valve
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Unusual bleeding
    • History of bleeding problems
    • Severe high blood pressure
    • Older age
  • Clotting problems
    • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
See more detailed risks and warnings