Ask the doctor: Safety of newer anti-clotting medications

Q. I've been taking dabigatran (Pradaxa) for atrial fibrillation for a few years and haven't had any problems. But I've seen ads on television suggesting that this drug and others like it aren't safe. What's your advice?

A. Known as novel oral anticoagulants, these drugs make the blood less likely to clot, which helps prevent strokes. Others in the class include rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), and edoxaban (Savaysa). They work as well as the older anti-clotting drug warfarin (Coumadin) but don't require frequent testing for clotting function and are less likely to interact with food and other drugs.

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