Just About To Start On Pradaxa

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John Wilkes Says:


Having been treated for atrial fibrillation for 10 years I am about to switch from my regime of monthly blood testing on Coumadin to Pradaxa.
As you can imagine I have some trepidation at such a radical switch in treatment. Whereas I will no longer need the blood tests having them gave me some comfort in knowing the viscosity of my blood at any given time. Suddenly no longer needing them and "flying blind" is a cause of some anxiety. Does anybody have any advice or thoughts on how best to make the transition.



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Doc Says:

My Cardo had me stop Cumadin three days then fourth day start morning dose 150mg and evening 150mg continous. I can tell you I feel MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better on Pradaxa no headaches and no draggy no energy feeling like when on Cumadin which I took for siix years. I will be happy not to have to get stuk every two weeks then chase the INR level trying to get it back to therapeutic. Pradaxa copay on my insurance went from $90. a month to $40. when it went on the formulary so decided to give it a try and very glad I did.
BTW, found a tooth needed pulling called my Cardo said quit Pradaza for two days then pull tooth third day then stay off Pradaxa two more days then resume normal dose the third day.

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John Wilkes Says:

Many thanks for getting back to me after some while.
I was beginning to believe I was the only living creature left on earth taking Pradaxa.

I started on Christmas Day and, up until this moment, I have had no problems. I mean no problems ! Vision, gastrointestinal, bruising or all the other associated reactions. Like you I am also pleased to tell you that if anything I feel far, far more healthy, more attentive,sharper of intellect and less tired than I have felt for the many years while on Warfrin. It is also wonderful not to be constantly chasing the viscosity devil once a month or often once every two weeks. Of course not knowing one's INR is, after 10 years, a leap of faith in knowing that it is doing the job and that sometimes one has to put one's faith in the hands of others.
I wish you continued good health hour long and happy life. Just as I wish for myself !

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Doc Says:

Thanks for your good wishes, I'll take all I can get and wish the same good things for you. I know about a'fibs, arrythmias and flutters. Had them for six years Cardo put me on Rythmol and Cumadin. One evening January 2011 my heart beat went to 175 BP has always been normal taking Benazapril. Cardo said go to Savannah see Dr Chisner the electro physilogy heart Guru does heart ablations, (hope you know what that is). Fried all the nerves in my heart that cause the irregular beats and put in a Boston Scientific pacemaker whole new world for my heart. Then in April I got pneumonia nobody sure exactly why. Went in ICU there two weeks died twice from lack of oxygen. Seriously, dead as road kill but the ICU Angels brought me back on two different occasions. Dr's couldn't understand why no brain damage from lack of oxygen but wife's been in medicine 40 yrs swears the pacemaker kept my heart beating sending what little oxygen was in my blood to my brain. Have lesions on my lung tissue to be expected but they called me the "Miracle Man" Dr's came to see the old Dude that died twice. I was on Propofol and heavy steroids same drug Michael Jackson was on so I know he had an easy exit. Each time I died I rode a train really, really weird and had bizzare vivid dreams. Friend of ours PA says I should journal my experiences so I'll try to get around to it. Every morning when I look in the morror I give thanks for life knowing how close I came to taking that long, lonesome, dark, cold dirt nap. I could go on, but you never know how you look until you had your picture took . . . You be well.

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Steve Says:

Doc: glad to hear you are still around. I have been thru ablations and mini-maze surgery. The surgery finally cured the AF. Went great for 4 years without any meds. Then i got onset of atypical (left atrium) tachycardia and am on cardizem Er and Rhythmol and blood thinner. Cardioversion last year worked but heart stopped for 15 seconds before normal SR started. I couldn't stand the meds so tried to go to Tikosyn over the winter and that did not work at all. So am back on Rhythmol and Cardizem and Pradaxa waiting to get a cardioversion this week. Pradaxa worked real good until a severe bout of heartburn last night that nothing will quench. I have to gut it out till Thursday somehow... Please tell me about your Boston Scientific pacemaker experience. Is it the dual-sensing one? Did they ablate your AV node? Are you on any other meds? How do you feel and can you exercise normally again?

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Doc Says:

Pacemaker - DNK what model it is but two weeks ago had one year check up on battery & general well being of the machine. They hung a cable with a ring on it around my neck put ring over pacemaker all I did was sit there had me take a few breaths and hold it. All A-OK said they'd be checking it every six months. Tomorrow 4-2-11 one year since I went in hospital w/pneumonia. Both times I died I rode the same train a story worth documenting the weirdest things you ever heard, and it was all so vivid I can still see it all today. Dreams literally in color of helicopter crashes and my wife, dog and friends being eaten by gators in the pond in back of our house. Good friend I shared stories with is PA said I definitely need to journal the whole story for the sake of medicine in general. Dr induced coma with on Propofol same drug Michael Jackson died of, hyptonic drug they said caused the vidid dreams. That and massive doses of IV steroids made me so wild they had to restrain me to tbe bed I kicked a nurse in the chest spasm unintentional. Some freak looked exactly like Yosemitie Sam was cussing me trying to run over me with a tractor with gator killer tires, I heard the tires scraping the door trying to get in to run over me. Somehow I overheard the Dr and my wife discussing should they bring me back a third time because there was no way I wouldn't have serious brain damage from lack of oxygen and be a vegetable. I couldn't talk so they couldn't test me for brain damage which I did not have thanks be to my Lord & Savior truly a God of miracles. I remember the Dr saying they had done all they could do at that facility and next step was send me to St Josephs in Savannah put a tube in my chest/lung to drain the fluid they had been pumping out. Had me on ventilator pulled tight on my face I was struggling to get out of pressure just before bursting my lungs forcing oxygen into my blood. Xrays showed I had a hole in each lung about big as a golf ball for oxygen to go thru. i rememner Dr said he would put a DNR order in my chart and I knew they were trying to kill me. I could hear but I couldn't talk. I was kicking foot of bed crying out Bill Bill Bill! They're going to kill me come help me!
Bill's my best friend rtired USMC LtCol F-18 pilot was flying the chopper that crashed in the lake & gators ate everybody on board. I looked down in the hole the chopper crash made and believe I looked straight into hell, blackest black I ever saw and all I could hear was glass, like crystal tinkleing. My wife spent a week end with me wondered why I kept kicking the bed struggling.
But thank the Lord, I didn't die the third time I believe because I had enough sense in my mind to cry out, Lord, please don't let me die, I'm not ready to die over and over. Slowly I began to get better and came off the ventilator and when I came to and was able to talk they couldn't believe I didn't have brain damage. They called the psychiatrist and every hospitalist there and talked to me and shook their heads while I professed my prayers for life had been answered. I promised to tell everyone what happened everytime I could which is what I am doing now and I know my my heart of hearts my Lord is a Lord of miracles and saved me.

Did they ablate my AV node? I believe he killed every nerve and node he could find, I had so many irregularaties with my heart beats he said it would be near impossdible to kill them all individually. So he fried the Big Momma nerve/node and turned the beats over to the pacemaker. I asked what happens if the pacemaker quits? Will I die? Dr said no but the beats wil go to about 20 per minute and you will know if it quits. If you begin feeling faint for no reason tell someone your pacemaker may have quit call 911.

Other Rx's I take - Benazapril twice a day for BP, Bystolic once a day for BP, Fenofrbrate & Simvastatin cholesterol, Carisiprodol for sleep, Omeprazole for ulcer I had, Pradaxa.

Your stomach burning, I'd definitely get a endoscopy let Dr take look see at insides check for ulcers or whatever. Mine was big biposy showed no problems there but very deep so I'm on Omnezaprole for life shuts down the acid production in stomach.

Exercise- Had a knee replacement bothced put it in to loose and any strenous exercise hurts plus artiritis in other knee so get cortisone shots in both knees every 90 days. No way I can run but I walk half a mile a day. I feel good which is important to me. Just had breathing tests by lung Dr says I don't have normal intake or exhale because of lesions lung damage. Nothing serious but I get "winded" easily. Bending over any length of time I have to pant so I bend over little as possible.

Definitely get that heart burn checked pronto. I had many colonoscopys but never endoscopy until little over a year ago. Every now and then at night I'd awake with something akin to battery acid in my mouth, digestive fluids reflux, so went to Dr they and he found the ulcer said I had maybe a year before it ate thru my stomach wall. Use to drink way to much Vodka he says probably caused it plus being in the military working shifts. No more booze or beer quit long time ago so another Demon behind us.

You be blessed and well and let me know if I can help more.

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Sarah McRay Says:

My Dad just started using the medication, and I found alot of useful information on that site



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Sarah McRay Says:

Good luck to you!

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Sarah McRay Says:

try this site pradaxa-internal-bleeding.com/

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9
Doc Says:

Hello Sarah. Glad to know folks benefit from info passed on thru websites like this. When I had my knee replacement I found more solace than you can imagine in a website, most horrible expeience I ever had, other than the bout with pneumonia. At the ripe young age of 71, I have reached two conclusions; these so called "Golden Years" are a crock of hooie and gettin' old definitely ain't for Sissies. Capish? But, . . . IMO, the alternative is not acceptable, i.e., taking that long, lonesome, dark, cold DIRT NAP. Lots of my classmates have gone on before me and every time I think of them I thank my Maker for sparing my life. You have a good 'un Ma'm and hope your Dad is OK.

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Carol Says:

There are a lot of things to consider, like risks and side effects of each one. I know that Pradaxa, for instance, can be riskier since there is no antidote if bleeding occurs. It also seems like it's a concern for both minor and major bleeds.

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Steve Says:

For me, Pradaxa is too risky for long term use. I worry about what if I am in an accident and having a major bleeding event. Most of the blood supply blood must be flushed out before the bleeding can be stopped and I don't like the risks of needing high volume blood exchanges which include risks of contracting HIV and hepatitis.

Having said that, I think a really good use for Pradaxa is for short term anticoagulation like when you need it to get scheduled for a cardioversion. I had a cardioversion last week and now am switching to a regimen of low dose warfarin plus 320 mg aspirin plus 60 mg ginko biloba (14mg glycosides standardized) - this is my idea, not my EP's prescription. I have had AF and some other arrthymiasoff and on since around 1985 and not had a stroke or TIA event yet, but am otherwise healthy and exercise and drink wine or beer in moderation (numerous studies show that moderate alcohol consumption helps reduce risk of stroke, heart attacks and death, even among A-Fibbers).

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John Wilkes Says:

It seems a case of your dammed if you do your damned if you don't. I started on Predaxa in December and it has proved to be a blessing in my case. Although I seem to be"flying by the seat one's pants" not knowing what my blood's viscosity is after 10 years of monthly blood draws I cannot say how happy I am not to have to do them now. The downside of there being no ability to stop serious bleed with Pradaxa is troubling. But then a stroke or transient ischaemic attack is pretty troubling as well. Warfarin has its upside but then those damn blood tests really take a bit of the edge off the pleasure of life. I think it's all a case of choose your poison ! I hear some pretty scary stories about Plavix as well. I don't think you can go through your life wondering what is going to get you. I think you just have to make a reasoned decision and a reasoned choice and leave the rest in the hands of fate.

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Sarah McRay Says:

thanks for your reply. sometimes i feel like networking is the only relief. with such dangers associated with internal bleeding from pradaxa, it's a nervewrecking thing!

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Steve Says:

Agree. It was tough but I am now comfortable with my combo med decision (post below).

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Doc Says:

" . . . . I worry about what if I am in an accident and having a major bleeding event. "
Pradaxa works on a different clotting level than Cumadin. Way it was ecplained to me, if you get a bad cut or injuury you will not bleed out like you would with Cumadin. My source is a medical professional in medicine for 40 yrs and sorry I can't offer a more detailed explaination. Suggest you ask your Dr about it.
I do know one thing for certain. I took Cumadin for a looong time and began feeling bad no energy at all. Switched to Pradaxa and much happier now 'cause I feel great.

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John Wilkes Says:

Interesting comments Doc. Since I have been on Pradaxa I too have felt much better, physically and mentally, than I have in many years. There seems to be no logical reason for this as it is only another, albeit different, anticoagulant. However even my doctor is surprised at my sense of well-being which has resulted in my heart beating normally for longer periods. I was in a Afib most of the time yet now I only have a few events a day and they are of far shorter duration. There are some that would say I am talking nonsense however I can only relate my own personal experience since I started taking Pradaxa and others must take from it what they will.

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Doc Says:

OK folks, here's my experience with bleeding while on Pradaxa. To my chagrin, had to have a tooth extracted second one from the back on bottom. My dentist said call your Cardiologist and see what he says. Said quit Pradaxa in the morning two days before the extraction then wait two days after the extraction and resume Pradaxa. So I was off Pradaxa five days total. Had it pulled 10:30 AM and I was surprised by 6: PM it had stopped bleeding just oozing a little, next morning I had some blood in my mouth but I washed my mouth out and brushed my teeth then gently swished warm salt water over the socket and good to go. Eating not a problem and of course food particles got caught in "the pit" so I swished warm water over it and they came out. This is the fifth day after the extraction and I do have some soreness around the socket and down in it, but nothing I wouldn't expect. It was a difficult extraction, tooth broke off had to go surgical and split it then take off some jaw bone to get down under the extra long roots to pry them out. But even at that, IMO bleeding was not that much worse than if I was not taking any kind of blood thinner. He gave me Rx for pain Hydrocodone APAP 5-500MG (subsitute for LORItab 5-500) take one every four to five hours as needed for pain. My pharmacist said that Rx has more Tylenol in it than regular Hydracodone, but whatever it is, it worked fine for this old codger. Pain was bad the first afternoon & evening but the pills eased it a lot and after that unless I bite down on that side I don't know I
had a tooth pulled.

HA! LOL! Wife said a bridge is $1K to $1.5 K so the pain from that will be worse than the extraction. I'll have to see how it goes but thinking I might just let it be as is 'cause it is way back so noone sees it and if it doesn't bother me then I'll keep that bridge money for my "walkin' around" money.

Okey Dokey then, hope this helps ease concerns about bleeding on Pradaxa and if ya'll have questions give a shout and I'll be gald to relate my personal experience. Have a fine blessed day and be well.

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