Twice-Daily Pill ‘Pradaxa’ Has Heart Doctors Worried

As Ransdell Pierson reports for Reuters, Boehringer Ingelheim's drug Pradaxa has some heart doctors worried that it may cause more harm than good.

Here's the news:

"[Y]ou can kill a patient as easily with the new drug as you could with the old drug," says Dr. Alan Jacobson, as Pierson reports.

Will Pradaxa Replace Warfarin?

The old drug is warfarin, which is better understood by both doctors and patients. It has been on the market for more than 50 years. Warfarin is used to prevent stroke caused by atrial fibrillation. (Atrial fibrillation is a condition that causes blood clots. In turn, blood clots can lead to strokes.)

Adverse side effects from warfarin include severe bleeding, often leading to death.

Marketed as the new alternative to warfarin, Pradaxa has been shown to be effective in treating atrial fibrillation, but Pradaxa is far less understood, which has lead doctors to question its safety.

Pradaxa Causes More Deaths than Warfarin

According to Pierson, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices says that more than 500 people died from Pradaxa in 2011 - that's a lot more than the 72 people who died from warfarin.

This substantial difference should give anyone pause.

San Antonio, Texas, Defective Drug Lawyers of Tyler & Peery

The attorneys of Tyler & Peery in San Antonio have been helping patients injured by defective drugs since 1990. Pradaxa is no different than any other type of pharmaceutical drug. They all have their risks. It's just that Pradaxa may be far more risky than drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim is willing to admit.