Pradaxa (dabigatran) is a direct thrombin inhibitor approved for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. We describe a case of esophageal ulceration associated with Pradaxa administration in a 75-year-old man. The patient reported difficulty swallowing and a burning sensation after taking his first dose of Pradaxa. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) revealed linear ulcerations in the mid-esophagus. Pradaxa was held beginning the day before the EGD. The patient reported that his pain and difficulty swallowing resolved on stopping Pradaxa. Pradaxa is formulated with a tartaric acid excipient to reduce variability in absorption. We hypothesise that the capsule lodged in the patient's esophagus and the tartaric acid may have caused local damage resulting in an esophageal ulcer. It is important to educate patients on proper administration of Pradaxa, to decrease the risk of this rare, but potentially serious adverse event.
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