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Comparing the New Blood Thinners to Warfarin

Pradaxa

The usual dose of Pradaxa is a 150-milligram tablet, taken twice a day, with or without food.

In studies comparing it to warfarin, those on the newer drug had fewer strokes, according to the FDA.

However, after Pradaxa was approved, the FDA received a large number of reports of bleeding, such as gastrointestinal and brain bleeds.

The FDA investigated, concluding in 2012 that the bleeding risks do not appear any higher than in people taking warfarin.

Xarelto

For stroke risk reduction, the usual dose of Xarelto is 20 milligrams once a day, taken with the evening meal. Doses can be different for other conditions.

The once-daily dose may appeal to some patients, Doherty says. It's easier to remember than multiple pills.

In a clinical trial with more than 14,000 patients,  Xarelto was found similar to warfarin in the ability to prevent stroke, according to the FDA.

In studies on hip and knee replacement patients, those taking Xarelto were much less likely than those on other anti-clot therapies to have clot problems, according to the FDA.

In studies on preventing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, Xarelto was as effective as another treatment combining Lovenox (enoxaparin) and warfarin.

Eliquis

The usual dose of Eliquis is 5 milligrams, taken twice a day with or without food.

In a study of more than 18,000 patients comparing Eliquis with warfarin, those on Eliquis were less likely to have a stroke.

In another study of people with atrial fibrillation who could not or chose not to take warfarin, Eliquis was more effective than aspirin at preventing stroke.

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