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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.

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?

Stroke or blood clots:
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.

Knee or hip replacement:
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®)

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

Easy/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:

  • Tell your doctor if you have bleeding, kidney, liver or stomach problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • 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 PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. October 2018

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

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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 the Canterbury District Health Board. 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