skip to main content

What does it do?

Dabigatran is used to prevent clots in your blood. It reduces your risk of having a stroke and stops new clots in your legs or lungs.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney, bleeding, liver or stomach problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How should you take it?

Take dabigatran regularly as directed.
Dabigatran can damage the oesophagus (food pipe). To avoid this, take it with a large glass of water. Swallow the capsule whole - do not crush, chew or open it. Sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes after taking a dose.

What if you forget a dose?

If you take dabigatran twice a day:
If the next dose is less than six hours away, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. If there are more than six hours until the next dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

If you take dabigatran once a day:
Skip the missed dose and carry on as normal at the same time the next day. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with dabigatran including:

  • anti-inflammatories, such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®), or aspirin (e.g. Disprin®, in doses used for pain relief). These can also be found in some cold and flu medicines (e.g. Nurofen Cold and Flu®).
  • low-dose aspirin (e.g. Cartia®) - sometimes used with dabigatran, check with your doctor.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Reduced number of blood cells that help your blood to clot - symptoms include: easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Coughing or vomiting of blood, vomit that looks like coffee grounds

Nose bleeds

Red or dark brown urine, red or black bowel motions

Chest pain, trouble breathing

Headache, dizziness, changes in vision or speech

Trouble swallowing, severe indigestion or heartburn, stomach pain

Tell your doctor immediately

Tiredness, pale skin

Tell your doctor

Stomach upset, heartburn, indigestion

Tell your doctor. Try taking with food.

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • It is important to tell anyone who gives you medical or dental treatment (e.g. doctor, dentist, pharmacist or podiatrist) that you are taking dabigatran.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

Web links for this sheet in different formats

Click on buttons to copy web addresses for this leaflet:

If your browser does not automatically copy these links use its copy command instead.

About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed