Two Studies Link Pradaxa and Increased Heart Attack Risk

July 24, 2013 — Two new studies have linked the blood-thinning medication Pradaxa (dabigatran) to an increased risk of heart attacks. Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of Pradaxa, is facing more than 1,100 Pradaxa lawsuits involving serious and sometimes fatal bleeding events. The link between Pradaxa and heart attacks is very concerning, because many people are prescribed Pradaxa to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

One of the studies was presented at the 2013 Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Researchers found that Pradaxa may increase the risk of heart attacks by 32% compared to warfarin, and by as much as 70% compared to a placebo. Among patients taking the highest dose of Pradaxa, 150-mg, the risk of a heart attack was 45% higher. The results were based on data from 10 studies involving more than 23,000 people, including 292 people who had a heart attack (about 1.2%).

Another study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, was accompanied by an editorial in which doctors reported that treatment with Pradaxa resulted in a 48% increased risk of heart attack compared to controls.

The last time the risk of heart attack from Pradaxa was in the spotlight was in January 2012, when researchers from the Cleveland Clinic published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that showed a 27-33% increased risk of a heart attack among patients on Pradaxa compared to comparative blood-thinners. The results were based on data from seven clinical trials of Pradaxa involving nearly 40,000 patients.

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