Pradaxa: Practice test could prevent death

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Measuring the new anticoagulant Pradaxa close to the patient as a possible contribution to preventing death

Böhringer Ingelheim's new anticoagulant Pradaxa has been linked to 256 deaths after being approved almost 2 months ago worldwide for the prevention of stroke and other vascular occlusions in patients with atrial fibrillation. This resulted in a request from the weekly newspaper "Der Spiegel" at the European Medicines Agency European Medicines Agency appeared on November 12, 2011 in the online edition.

This affected 21 patients in Europe and 4 of these in Germany. Since Pradaxa is excreted via the kidney to about 85 percent, a restriction of kidney function (creatinine clearance less than 30 ml / min) is a contraindication. Böhringer Ingelheim therefore recommends the determination of creatinine in the blood of the patient before and while taking Pradaxa. From the same blood sample, the concentration of Pradaxa can be determined easily and within 30 minutes (British patent application number H3393GB). With a method close to the patient, Pradaxa can also be detected in the urine. If Pradaxa is less excreted in the urine due to impaired kidney function, its concentration in the blood increases and with it the risk of severe and fatal bleeding.

Proof can be demonstrated by doctors, medical nurses, patients' relatives and even by themselves within 15 minutes using color development (same British patent application). The tests are not yet commercially available, but can be performed by the inventors from existing blood samples or requested as a test for urine. Timely detection of Pradaxa in blood or urine could therefore help prevent bleeding with fatalities in the future. (Prof. Dr. med. Job Harenberg Clinical Pharmacology, University of Mannheim)

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Image: Gerd Altmann /

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