Xarelto vs Pradaxa – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences


It is the brand name of a drug called rivaroxaban, an oral anticoagulant that is used to prevent and treat blood clots. It works by blocking factor Xa, a substance in the human blood that is involved in the development of blood clots.

This drug is in a class of drugs called factor Xa inhibitors, which means they affect the action of an enzyme, Factor Xa, which is involved in blood clotting.

It was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011, and it is marketed by Janssen Pharmaceutica.


This medication is used to prevent and treat a type of blood clot called deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a vein). Blood clots in veins most frequently occur in the legs, however, they can occur elsewhere in the body, including the arms. This can lead to blood clots in the lungs, also referred as pulmonary embolism, that can cause symptoms like – breathlessness or chest pain, but it may as well have no symptoms.

Moreover, this drug may be prescribed to help protect against blood clots for people who are having knee or hip surgery, or for patients who have atrial fibrillation, a certain type of irregular fast heartbeat.


To treat blood pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, the usual recommended dose is 15 mg two times per day with food for the first three weeks, followed by 20 mg once per day with food for 180 days.

To reduce the risk of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart which is not caused by a problem with the heart valves), the usual recommended dose is 20 mg once per day with the evening meal for individuals with creatinine clearance >50 ml/min.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Rivaroxaban

Common side effects may include:

  • itching;
  • muscle pain;
  • pain in the legs or arms.

Rare side effects may include:

  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • heavy menstrual bleeding;
  • any bleeding that will not stop;
  • bleeding gums;
  • nosebleeds;
  • bleeding from needle injections;
  • urine which looks pink, red, or brown;
  • weakness;
  • dizziness;
  • headaches;
  • coughing up vomit which looks like coffee grounds;
  • bloody or tarry stools;
  • swelling of a wound.

Drug interactions may occur, therefore, tell your heașthcare professional if you take:

  • itraconazole (Sporanox, Onmel);
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125);
  • ritonavir (Norvir);
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum);
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifamate, Rifater);
  • phenobarbital (Solfoton);
  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol);
  • indinavir (Crixivan);
  • lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra).

This medication contains lactose. If you have been told by a medical doctor that you have lactose intolerance, tell your healthcare provider before taking this medication. Symptoms of lactose intolerance may include:

There are no clinical studies regarding the use of this medication by nursing women, therefore, avoid it if you are breast-feeding a baby. Also, pregnant women should take the medication only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks to the unborn baby because there is not sufficient data about the safe use of this medication during pregnancy.


It is the brand name of a drug called dabigatran that belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants. It prevents harmful blood clots from forming in the blood vessels by reducing the capacity of the blood to clot.

This drug was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010.


It is typically used to treat blood clots in the veins of the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or legs (deep vein thrombosis), reducing the risk of them occurring again. This drug is also used to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke in individuals who have a serious medical condition called atrial fibrillation.


The usual recommended dose of this medications is 150 mg taken two times per day.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Dabigatran

Common side effects may include:

  • indigestion;
  • stomach pain;
  • heartburn.

Rare side effects may include:

  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • any bleeding which will not stop;
  • black or tarry stools;
  • dizziness;
  • coughing up blood;
  • weakness;
  • pink urine;
  • heavy menstrual bleeding;
  • headaches;
  • joint pain;
  • red pinpoint spots under the skin;
  • easy bruising;
  • blood in the stools;
  • unusual bleeding (mouth, nose, rectum, or vagina).

To be sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have or have had:

  • surgery, including dental surgery;
  • an allergy to any other medications;
  • kidney disease;
  • bleeding or an ulcer in your stomach or intestine;
  • a bleeding problem;
  • a valve in your heart replaced.

This medication may interact with:

  • reteplase, alteplase, urokinase;
  • St. John’s wort;
  • argatroban, apixaban, rivaroxaban, lepirudin;
  • antifungal medications;
  • heparin, dalteparin, tinzaparin;
  • drugs used to prevent organ transplant rejection;
  • ticlopidine, abciximab, tirofiban;
  • HIV/AIDS medicine;
  • heart or blood pressure medication;
  • aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • antibiotics.

Xarelto vs Pradaxa – Differences

Xarelto (active ingredient – rivaroxaban) is a blood thinner medication that belongs to a group of medications called factor Xa inhibitors (an enzyme needed for blood to clot). It works by inhibiting factor Xa, hence, it slows down blood clot formation.

Pradaxa (active ingredient – dabigatran) is an anticoagulant that helps prevent the formation of blood clots. It is used to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism as well as to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke in individuals who have atrial fibrillation.

5 Simple Ways To Treat And Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis

#1 Quit Smoking

Smoking tobacco and second-hand smoking are serious risk factors for developing thrombosis, particularly when combined with other risk factors like being obese or overweight.

#2 Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin E

This vitamin acts as an anticoagulant for the veins. Foods high in vitamin E rich include – spinach, blackberries, cranberries, walnuts, apricots, avocados, nectarines, papayas, guavas, bell peppers, sunflower seeds, and kiwis.

#3 Ginger

Consuming ginger daily can help prevent high LDL (bad) cholesterol which causes plaque buildup further inhibiting blood circulation.

#4 Exercise

The best type of physical exercise for keeping your veins and heart-healthy is one that combines aerobic exercise with resistance/strength-training moves.

#5 Cayenne Pepper

The compound capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps prevent blood clots and promotes blood circulation.

Image source – @Getty & Shutterstock

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