Warfarin has been prescribed to prevent strokes for more than 50 years but patients need to take regular blood tests in case they overdose. In addition some foods – spinach and broccoli stop it working properly and other such as cranberry make it more potent.Many patients refuse the drug because of the risks.
Pradaxa, on the other hand, taken twice daily, do not affect the diet as much and can be up to 39 per cent better at preventing strokes, the American College of Cardiology was told.
The drug is due to be approved next week by the European drugs regulator for use in atrial fibrillation next week.
The drug was trialled by more than 18,000 men and women suffering from atrial fibrillation, an extremely common heart rhythm disorder that raises the risk of stroke up to five-fold
Pradaxa, also known as dabigatran etexilate, could improve their health – as well as boost the quality of life for many of those who don’t want to take warfarin.
The drug is already licensed to prevent clots after hip, knee and other types of orthopaedic surgery.