Is it really possible to just pop a pill to prevent a stroke? That would be nice. Apparently now there is. It looks like within the next few weeks just a pill – for the price of £2.50 a day (just over $4.00) – will be available.
Named Pradaxa, it is meant to be much safer and easier to take than the blood-thinner used until now (Warfarin) which had its own slew of problems including accidental overdose and taking care of diet since certain foods prevent its adequate absorption. Pradaxa (also known as dabigatran etexilate) on the other hand doesn’t encounter these issues, isn’t diet related and is said to be up to “39 per cent better at preventing strokes,” following a trial with more than 18,000 testers suffering from atrial fibrillation.
In the UK, there are approximately 1.2 million atrial fibrillation sufferers which lead to around 15 percent of the country’s 150,000 annual strokes. But many sufferers will not take the warfarin medication due to the possible complications. Pradaxa is very different in this rein since it can actually lead to an improvement of overall health as well as their general quality of life.
Over the last five decades, this was the first new oral anticoagulant that has been approved in Europe. Indeed, according to chief executive of the Atrial Fibrillation Association, Trudie Lobban, “Patients have waited a long time for an alternative to warfarin. Dabigatran etexilate has the potential not only to improve stroke prevention but also to greatly improve people’s quality of life.”