Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a heart-related illness that causes irregular and rapid beating of the heart. If a person regularly suffers from afib, he or she will have a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, and dementia. What’s scary about this condition is that when it occurs, it usually doesn’t have any symptoms. This means that you have no idea if the condition is serious or not. In the instance that you can observe symptoms, such symptoms include chest pains, shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations. Fortunately, there are drugs and medications that can help you manage afib. These medications usually work as blood thinners so that blood doesn’t coagulate or clot inside your body. One of the most popular of these anticoagulants is dabigatran.
The Uses Of Dabigatran
Doctors usually prescribe Dabigatran to patients who are suffering from irregular heartbeats and are thus more susceptible to strokes. Keep in mind that the medication is a blood thinner so what it essentially does is prevent the formation of blood clots in risky parts of the body like the legs and the lungs. As an anticoagulant, dabigatran performs its task by blocking a particular type of substance called thrombin. Without this substance, there’s less chance for blood to coagulate and develop into deadly clots. Dabigatran is also commonly used as a post-surgery drug. For example, surgeons will administer it on patients who have just undergone hip replacement surgery.
Things You Should Know Before Taking Dabigatran
Like most anticoagulants, you can only take dabigatran if a licensed doctor has prescribed it to you. Always keep in mind that the dosage will depend on your medical condition. There are also instances wherein your doctor may change the dosage from time to time. With that said, it’s important that you consult with your doctor on a regular basis. You should never increase nor decrease the dosage if your doctor didn’t tell you to do so. If you feel like the drug isn’t having any effects on you, then consult with your physician to determine what could be wrong with the dosage. The general rule here is that you should never self-medicate when it comes to heart-related illnesses.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like a lot of drugs, there’s always the possibility that you might feel some side effects after taking dabigatran. However, it’s worth mentioning here that a very serious allergic reaction to dabigatran is rather rare. If you are suffering from A-fib, there even less risk for possible side effects. The most common side effects of dabigatran include easy bruising or minor bleeding like nose bleeding. Remember that the drug is among the strongest blood thinners out there. Thinner blood flowing through your veins and arteries means that you’ll bleed easier from cuts. If you feel more serious side effects like nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain, it’s highly advisable that you seek medical attention immediately.
Precautions You Should Take Before Taking Medication
There are a lot of factors that you need to consider before you start taking dabigatran. First of all, you need to be as honest as possible when your doctor asks you questions regarding your condition. Divulge everything that can help him decide if the drug is right for you. Tell him about your allergies, your medical history, and other medications you are using (if there are any). You should also avoid taking injections through your muscles as this can cause bleeding. And last but not least, this medication is not advisable for pregnant women. Its usage is reserved for pregnant women in special cases.
What To Do In The Case Of Overdose
To prevent overdoses, never take more anticoagulants than the amount prescribed by the doctor. Always keep in mind that the drug is a blood thinner, so if you take too much, you can be in for a lot of trouble. Even if your A-fib condition seems to be worse than normal, don’t increase the dosage. Always consult with your physician first. If you feel like you have overdosed, seek emergency medical attention as quickly as possible. Symptoms of overdose include prolonged bleeding, dark urine, and bloody stools.
How To Store The Medications
Always store your dabigatran medications at room temperature. The storage should also be away from moisture and direct light. In addition, you should store them in a cabinet where kids or pets can’t reach it.