Prescription Drug Information: Pradaxa (Page 5 of 9)


Accidental overdose may lead to hemorrhagic complications. In the event of hemorrhagic complications, initiate appropriate clinical support, discontinue treatment with PRADAXA, and investigate the source of bleeding. A specific reversal agent (idarucizumab) is available for adult patients.

Dabigatran is primarily eliminated by the kidneys with a low plasma protein binding of approximately 35%. Hemodialysis can remove dabigatran; however, data supporting this approach are limited. Using a high-flux dialyzer, blood flow rate of 200 mL/min, and dialysate flow rate of 700 mL/min, approximately 49% of total dabigatran can be cleared from plasma over 4 hours. At the same dialysate flow rate, approximately 57% can be cleared using a dialyzer blood flow rate of 300 mL/min, with no appreciable increase in clearance observed at higher blood flow rates. Upon cessation of hemodialysis, a redistribution effect of approximately 7% to 15% is seen. The effect of dialysis on dabigatran’s plasma concentration would be expected to vary based on patient specific characteristics. Measurement of aPTT or ECT may help guide therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].


The chemical name for dabigatran etexilate mesylate, a direct thrombin inhibitor, is β-Alanine, N-[[2-[[[4-[[[(hexyloxy)carbonyl]amino]iminomethyl] phenyl]amino]methyl]-1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-5-yl]carbonyl]-N-2-pyridinyl-,ethyl ester, methanesulfonate. The empirical formula is C34 H41 N7 O5 ∙ CH4 O3 S and the molecular weight is 723.86 (mesylate salt), 627.75 (free base). The structural formula is:

Chemical Structure
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Dabigatran etexilate mesylate is a yellow-white to yellow powder. A saturated solution in pure water has a solubility of 1.8 mg/mL. It is freely soluble in methanol, slightly soluble in ethanol, and sparingly soluble in isopropanol.

PRADAXA Capsules are supplied in 75 mg, 110 mg, and 150 mg strengths for oral administration. Each capsule contains dabigatran etexilate mesylate as the active ingredient: 150 mg dabigatran etexilate (equivalent to 172.95 mg dabigatran etexilate mesylate), 110 mg dabigatran etexilate (equivalent to 126.83 mg dabigatran etexilate mesylate), or 75 mg dabigatran etexilate (equivalent to 86.48 mg dabigatran etexilate mesylate) along with the following inactive ingredients: acacia, dimethicone, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, talc, and tartaric acid. The capsule shell is composed of carrageenan, hypromellose, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, black edible ink, and FD&C Blue No. 2 (150 mg and 110 mg capsules only).


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Dabigatran and its acyl glucuronides are competitive, direct thrombin inhibitors. Because thrombin (serine protease) enables the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin during the coagulation cascade, its inhibition prevents the development of a thrombus. Both free and clot-bound thrombin, and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation are inhibited by the active moieties.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

At recommended therapeutic doses, dabigatran etexilate prolongs the coagulation markers such as aPTT, ECT, TT, and dTT. INR is relatively insensitive to the exposure to dabigatran and cannot be interpreted the same way as used for warfarin monitoring.


The aPTT test provides an approximation of PRADAXA’s anticoagulant effect. The average time course for effects on aPTT, following approved dosing regimens in patients with various degrees of renal impairment is shown in Figure 2. The curves represent mean levels without confidence intervals; variations should be expected when measuring aPTT. While advice cannot be provided on the level of recovery of aPTT needed in any particular clinical setting, the curves can be used to estimate the time to get to a particular level of recovery, even when the time since the last dose of PRADAXA is not precisely known. In the RE-LY trial, the median (10th to 90th percentile) trough aPTT in patients receiving the 150 mg dose was 52 (40 to 76) seconds.

Figure 2 Average Time Course for Effects of Dabigatran on aPTT, Following Approved PRADAXA Dosing Regimens in Adult Patients with Various Degrees of Renal Impairment*

Figure 2
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*Simulations based on PK data from a study in subjects with renal impairment and PK/aPTT relationships derived from the RE-LY study; aPTT prolongation in RE-LY was measured centrally in citrate plasma using PTT Reagent Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, Germany. There may be quantitative differences between various established methods for aPTT assessment.

The degree of anticoagulant activity can also be assessed by the ecarin clotting time (ECT). This test is a more specific measure of the effect of dabigatran than activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). In the RE-LY trial, the median (10th to 90th percentile) trough ECT in patients receiving the 150 mg dose was 63 (44 to 103) seconds.

In orthopedic hip surgery patients, maximum aPTT response (Emax ) to dabigatran and baseline aPTT were higher shortly after surgery than at later time points (e.g. ≥3 days after surgery).


As in adults, there is a correlation between plasma dabigatran concentrations and the degree of its anticoagulant effect in pediatric patients with venous thromboembolism. The parameters dTT and ECT increased in direct linear proportion to the plasma concentration of dabigatran, whereas aPTT prolongation increases in a nonlinear fashion with dabigatran plasma concentrations.

Similar PK/PD relationships for aPTT, ECT, and dTT were observed across age groups of pediatric patients (ages 26 days to <18 years) and between pediatric and adult patients with venous thromboembolism. This similarity in PK/PD relationship suggests that similar exposure-response relationship is expected for dabigatran etexilate treatment across the pediatric age groups and adult patients.

Cardiac Electrophysiology

No prolongation of the QTc interval was observed with dabigatran etexilate at doses up to 600 mg.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Dabigatran etexilate mesylate is absorbed as the dabigatran etexilate ester. The ester is then hydrolyzed, forming dabigatran, the active moiety. Dabigatran is metabolized to four different acyl glucuronides and both the glucuronides and dabigatran have similar pharmacological activity. Pharmacokinetics described here refer to the sum of dabigatran and its glucuronides. Dabigatran displays dose-proportional pharmacokinetics in healthy adult subjects and adult patients in the range of doses from 10 to 400 mg. Given twice daily, dabigatran’s accumulation factor in adults and pediatrics is approximately two.


The absolute bioavailability of dabigatran following oral administration of dabigatran etexilate is approximately 3% to 7%. Dabigatran etexilate is a substrate of the efflux transporter P-gp. After oral administration of dabigatran etexilate in healthy volunteers, Cmax occurs at 1-hour post-administration in the fasted state. Coadministration of PRADAXA with a high-fat meal delays the time to Cmax by approximately 2 hours but has no effect on the bioavailability of dabigatran; PRADAXA may be administered with or without food.

The oral bioavailability of dabigatran etexilate increases by 75% when the pellets are taken without the capsule shell compared to the intact capsule formulation based on a single-dose relative bioavailability study. PRADAXA Capsules should therefore not be broken, chewed, or opened before administration.

PRADAXA is available in capsules and oral pellets. The approved indications and intended age groups are not the same. Oral absorption of dabigatran etexilate is formulation-dependent. At steady-state, dabigatran etexilate oral pellets show 37% higher relative bioavailability in healthy adults compared to dabigatran etexilate capsules based on a multiple-dose relative bioavailability study. In addition, the relative bioavailability between the two dosage forms is age-dependent. The relative bioavailability observed in adults cannot be translated to pediatrics.


Dabigatran is approximately 35% bound to human plasma proteins. The red blood cell to plasma partitioning of dabigatran measured as total radioactivity is less than 0.3. The volume of distribution of dabigatran is 50 to 70 L.


Dabigatran is eliminated primarily in the urine. Renal clearance of dabigatran is 80% of total clearance after intravenous administration. After oral administration of radiolabeled dabigatran, 7% of radioactivity is recovered in urine and 86% in feces. The half-life of dabigatran in healthy adult subjects is 12 to 17 hours. Population pharmacokinetic simulation shows that the elimination half-life in pediatric patients is 12 to14 hours.


After oral administration, dabigatran etexilate is converted to dabigatran. The cleavage of the dabigatran etexilate by esterase-catalyzed hydrolysis to the active principal dabigatran is the predominant metabolic reaction. Dabigatran is not a substrate, inhibitor, or inducer of CYP450 enzymes. Dabigatran is subject to conjugation, forming pharmacologically active acyl glucuronides. Four positional isomers, 1-O, 2-O, 3-O, and 4-O-acylglucuronide exist, and each accounts for less than 10% of total dabigatran in plasma.

Specific Populations

Pediatric Patients

The pharmacokinetics of dabigatran was characterized in two clinical studies (DIVERSITY and Study 2) following multiple doses in pediatric patients from birth to less than 18 years old. In pediatric patients taking age- and weight-adjusted doses of PRADAXA Capsules (aged 8-18 years), the observed geometric mean steady-state trough concentration was 97.9 ng/mL (63.7 to 151 ng/mL, 10th to 90th percentile) compared to the steady-state geometric mean trough concentration of 59.7 ng/mL (26.3 to 146 ng/mL, 10th to 90th percentile) observed in adult patients with DVT/PE.

Renal Impairment

An open, parallel-group, single-center study compared dabigatran pharmacokinetics in healthy adult subjects and adult patients with mild to moderate renal impairment receiving a single dose of PRADAXA Capsules 150 mg. Exposure to dabigatran increases with severity of renal function impairment (Table 10). Similar findings were observed in the RE-LY, RE-COVER and RE-NOVATE II trials.

Table 10 Impact of Renal Impairment on Dabigatran Pharmacokinetics
Renal Function CrCl (mL/min) Increase in AUC Increase in Cmax t1/2 (h)
+ Patients with severe renal impairment were not studied in RE-LY, RE-COVER and RE-NOVATE II. Dosing recommendations in subjects with severe renal impairment are based on pharmacokinetic modeling [see Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.4) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Normal ≥ 80 13
Mild 50-80 1.5× 1.1× 15
Moderate 30-50 3.2× 1.7× 18
Severe+ 15-30 6.3× 2.1× 27

Hepatic Impairment

Administration of PRADAXA Capsules in adult patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B) showed a large inter-subject variability, but no evidence of a consistent change in exposure or pharmacodynamics.

Drug Interactions

A summary of the effect of coadministered drugs on dabigatran exposure in healthy adult subjects is shown in Figures 3.1 and 3.2.

In the orthopedic hip surgery patients, limited clinical data with P-gp inhibitors is available.

Figure 3.1 Effect of P-gp Inhibitor or Inducer (rifampicin) Drugs on Peak and Total Exposure to Dabigatran (Cmax and AUC). Shown are the Geometric Mean Ratios (Ratio) and 90% Confidence Interval (90% CI). The Perpetrator and Dabigatran Etexilate Dose and Dosing Frequency are given as well as the Time of Perpetrator Dosing in Relation to Dabigatran Etexilate Dose (Time Difference)

Figure 3.1
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Figure 3.2 Effect of Non-P-gp Inhibitor or Inducer, Other Drugs, on Peak and Total Exposure to Dabigatran (Cmax and AUC). Shown are the Geometric Mean Ratios (Ratio) and 90% Confidence Interval (90% CI). The Perpetrator and Dabigatran Etexilate Dose and Dosing Frequency are given as well as the Time of Perpetrator Dosing in Relation to Dabigatran Etexilate Dose (Time Difference)

Figure 3.2
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In RE-LY, dabigatran plasma samples were also collected. The concomitant use of proton pump inhibitors, H2 antagonists, and digoxin did not appreciably change the trough concentration of dabigatran.

Impact of Dabigatran on Other Drugs

In clinical studies exploring CYP3A4, CYP2C9, P-gp and other pathways, dabigatran did not meaningfully alter the pharmacokinetics of amiodarone, atorvastatin, clarithromycin, diclofenac, clopidogrel, digoxin, pantoprazole, or ranitidine. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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