The hydroscopic pellets in capsules of the anticoagulant Pradaxa make the drug sensitive to humidity. So when it's packaged in bottles, Pradaxa should be used within 30 days of opening.
This detail appears to be escaping some pharmacists, accustomed to a much longer home life for their wares. The problem is compounded because a large segment of the drug's target population would be the elderly, well known for their difficulties in maintaining prescription regimens.
Pradaxa comes in blister packs for all other markets, reports Heartwire. The bottles were apparently an accommodation by the drugmaker for U.S. retail pharmacies, which generally prefer such packaging. Each bottle contains a one-month supply.
Boehringer Ingelheim notes that the limitation is clear from the packaging--on the bottle and side of the box, and in prescribing information and the medication guide.
But the website quotes pharmacists unaware of the short home life. Some have even returned the bottles for blister packs.
- here's the article