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Eliquis is the brand name for apixaban. It works by blocking the activity of certain clotting substances located in your blood. This medicine is used to decrease the risk of stroke or blood clot in patients with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation. Eliquis is also used in patients who have just had hip or knee replacement surgery who need Eliquis to lower their risk of forming blood clots in the legs and lungs. Eliquis can also be used in the treatment of blood clots in your veins (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). Eliquis may be known as a blood thinner medication but does not actually make your blood thinner.
Do not take Eliquis if you are allergic to apixaban, if you have an artificial heart valve, or if you have active bleeding, such as from a surgery or injury. Eliquis can make it easier for you to bleed, especially if you have a bleeding disorder.
Usually, Eliquis is taken twice a day. Make sure to follow your doctor’s and pharmacist’s guidelines and to read any information that comes along with your medication. You can take Eliquis with or without food.
Crushed tablets: if you cannot swallow the tablet, you can crush it and mix with water, apple juice, or applesauce. Swallow the mixture immediately; do not save it for later. This mixture may be administered through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Make sure you understand how to take the medicine through an NG.
If you miss a dose, take it on the same day you remember it. Your next dose should be taken at the regular time. Remain on your twice-a-day schedule. Do not take two doses at once. Make sure to refill your prescription before you run out of your Eliquis dosage completely.
Do not stop taking Eliquis or change your Eliquis dosing unless directed by a doctor.
Eliquis should be stored at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
Before starting Eliquis treatment, make sure to inform your doctor of your medical history, especially if you have experienced: kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis); liver disease; bleeding issues. Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. Mothers should not breastfeed while taking this medication.
Eliquis should be taken 24-48 hours before a surgery, invasive procedure, or dental procedure. Before a medical procedure, inform the personnel in charge that you take Eliquis.
Use caution doing anything that may increase your chance of bleeding or injury. This includes using caution when shaving or brushing your teeth. You should also avoid medications that increase the risk of bleeding; these include NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin.
Eliquis can interact with other drugs. Medicines that interact can mean less effective treatment and/or dangerous side effects. It is extremely important to tell your doctor of the other drugs you take; this includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbs, supplements, vitamins, and recreational drugs. Drugs with possible interactions include: any medication used to treat or prevent blood clots; antidepressants, including SSRIs; long-term NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen; blood thinners such as heparin and warfarin.
Use of Eliquis can lead to a very serious blood clot around your spinal cord if you undergo a spinal tap or receive an epidural (spinal anesthesia). Your risk is elevated if you have a genetic spinal defect, a spinal catheter, a history of spinal surgery, a history of repeated spinal taps, or if you use other drugs that affect blood clotting. A blood clot like this can result in long-term or permanent paralysis. Therefore, get medical help immediately if you have symptoms of a spinal cord blood clot; this includes: back pain, numbness or muscle weakness in the lower body; loss of bladder or bowel control.
If you suspect an overdose or allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling in the face, tongue, throat, and lips. Contact your doctor at once if you experience other serious side effects, including: bleeding from any area in the body that does not stop; headache, dizziness, weakness, feeling faint; red, pink, or brown urine; bloody or black stools, coughed-up blood, or vomit that resembles coffee grounds.
The most common side effects of Eliquis include: easy bruising; unusual bleeding; bleeding from injection sites.
Please note that this is not a complete list of all possible Eliquis side effects. Other side effects may occur. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned.
What painkillers are safe to take with Eliquis?
NSAIDs can increase your risk of bleeding if you are currently undertaking Eliquis treatment. NSAIDs include common over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin. If you use these painkillers, talk to your doctor about finding an alternative. Ask if it’s safe to take acetaminophen instead.
What if I am about to undergo a medical procedure, such as a surgery, dental work, or other invasive procedure?
Let the relevant health-care provider know that you are currently taking Eliquis. This includes surgeons, oral surgeons, and dentists. Even dental procedures may cause complications since you may bleed. You may have to cease taking Eliquis, but do not stop taking Eliquis without your doctor’s approval.
What precautions do I have to take while I’m on Eliquis?
Eliquis increases your risk of bleeding, so use caution when doing any activity that may cause you to bleed. This includes extreme or contact sports, shaving, and even brushing your teeth. Eliquis may cause stomach bleeding. Taking Eliquis and alcohol can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and you should limit your alcohol intake.
Is there an Eliquis generic alternative?
There is currently no therapeutically equivalent generic alternative to Eliquis available.
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation (“AFib”) is a type of arrhythmia, which is a condition of irregular heart rhythms. Patients with atrial fibrillation experience a faster than normal heart beat because the upper and lower chambers of the heart do not work properly together. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include fatigue or dizziness along with heart palpitations or chest pain.
What is deep vein thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (“DVT”) is when a blood clot forms within a vein that is deep in the body. Most of the time, this means blood clots in the lower leg or thigh. A DVT can break loose from its original location and cause severe complications in the lung, which is called a pulmonary embolism. You are more at risk of getting a DVT if you sit still for long periods of time.