(da'' bi gat' ran)
If you have atrial fibrillation (a condition in which the heart beats irregularly, increasing the chance of clots forming in the body, and possibly causing strokes) and are taking dabigatran to help prevent strokes or serious blood clots, you are at a higher risk of having a stroke after you stop taking this medication. Do not stop taking dabigatran without talking to your doctor. Continue to take dabigatran even if you feel well. Be sure to refill your prescription before you run out of medication so that you will not miss any doses of dabigatran. If you need to stop taking dabigatran, your doctor may prescribe another anticoagulant ('blood thinner') to help prevent a blood clot from forming and causing you to have a stroke.
If you have epidural or spinal anesthesia or a spinal puncture while taking a 'blood thinner' such as dabigatran, you are at risk of having a blood clot form in or around your spine that could cause you to become paralyzed. Tell your doctor if you have an epidural catheter that is left in your body or have or have ever had repeated epidural or spinal punctures, spinal deformity, or spinal surgery. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of the following: anagrelide (Agrylin), aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin, Tivorbex), ketoprofen, and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, others), cilostazol (Pletal), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), eptifibatide (Integrilin), heparin, prasugrel (Effient), ticagrelor (Brilinta), ticlopidine, tirofiban (Aggrastat), and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: back pain, muscle weakness (especially in your legs and feet), numbness or tingling, (especially in your legs), or loss of control of your bowels or bladder.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to dabigatran.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with dabigatran and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.