Pradaxa® (dabigatran), the anticoagulant drug, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. The gastrointestinal system in a human body consists of the stomach and intestine, but sometimes the term "gastrointestinal system" also refers to all of the body's structures from the mouth to the rectum. Gastrointestinal bleeding is a serious problem, whether as a Pradaxa® side effect or not. When it's severe, gastrointestinal bleeding can be fatal.
The human gastrointestinal system can be divided into the upper and lower gastrointestinal systems. The organs classified as the parts of the "upper" and "lower" gastrointestinal (GI) systems differ in various contexts, but upper gastrointestinal bleeding can involve the:
Lower gastrointestinal bleeding can involve the:
- small intestine
- large intestine
What is Gastrointestinal Bleeding?
Gastrointestinal bleeding, or hemorrhaging, may involve an amount of blood that's so small that it's only detectable by testing, such as the fecal occult blood test. However, massive gastrointestinal bleeding also occurs, and it may issue from the mouth or anus. Such bleeding may cause hypovolemia (decreased blood volume and blood plasma levels) and shock.
Gastrointestional Bleeding Side Effects
- Abdominal Pain
- Black, Tarry-Looking Stools
- Bloody Bowel Movements
- Epigastric Discomfort
- Erosive Gastritis
- Vomiting Blood
Pradaxa® Causing Gastrointestinal Bleeding
The maker of Pradaxa (dabigatran), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has acknowledged that Pradaxa® treatment is more likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding than is the traditionally used anticoagulant, warfarin.
Currently, the FDA is conducting a safety review of Pradaxa®. In Europe, the counterpart to the FDA reported hundreds of cases of fatal bleeding in Pradaxa®-treated patients. Anyone who is being treated with Pradaxa® should be made aware of this drug's risk of gastrointestinal bleeds, so that symptoms will be noted and treatment can begin as soon as possible.
Taking Pradaxa® and Gastrointestinal Bleeding
The signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding are covered elsewhere on this site. If you have been taking Pradaxa® and you have developed gastrointestinal bleeding, contact a law firm that represents people who have been harmed by medications prescribed by their doctors. You may have legal recourse, including financial compensation for costs such as medical bills, further treatment, and lost income/lost ability to work.
To schedule a free consultation with a Pradaxa® injury lawyer, please fill out the contact form and someone from our law office will contact you shortly.