An alternative to warfarin (Coumadin) is approved to help treat patients with atrial fibrillation.
In December 2010, the Food and Drug Administration approved dabigatran (Pradaxa) for the prevention of stroke and blood clots from atrial fibrillation (AF). Dabigatran is the first alternative to warfarin (Coumadin), which has been considered the "gold standard" treatment for preventing AF-related strokes. The new drug is giving warfarin a run for its money. In studies, dabigatran has been shown to be effective at preventing clots, while being easier to take and having fewer side effects than warfarin. In several pivotal clinical trials, a 150-mg dose of dabigatran given twice daily was more effective than warfarin in reducing strokes and clots in the peripheral arteries. The 110-mg dose was consistently equivalent to warfarin.