Generic Name: apixaban (a PIX a ban)
Brand Names: Eliquis
Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Oct 21, 2019.
What is Eliquis?
Eliquis (apixaban) blocks the activity of certain clotting substances in the blood.
Eliquis is used to lower the risk of stroke or a blood clot in people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.
Eliquis is also used to lower the risk of forming a blood clot in the legs and lungs of people who have just had hip or knee replacement surgery.
Eliquis is used to treat blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism), and lower the risk of them occurring again.
Eliquis increases your risk of severe or fatal bleeding, especially if you take certain medicines at the same time (including some over-the-counter medicines). It is very important to tell your doctor about all medicines you have recently used.
Call your doctor at once if you have signs of bleeding such as: swelling, pain, feeling very weak or dizzy, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, heavy menstrual periods or abnormal vaginal bleeding, blood in your urine, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, or any bleeding that will not stop.
Eliquis should be stopped 24-48 hours prior to any surgery, invasive procedure, or dental work. Tell your surgeon if you are taking Eliquis.
Eliquis can cause a very serious blood clot around your spinal cord if you undergo a spinal tap or receive spinal anesthesia (epidural), especially if you have a genetic spinal defect, if you have a spinal catheter in place, if you have a history of spinal surgery or repeated spinal taps, or if you are also using other drugs that can affect blood clotting. This type of blood clot can lead to long-term or permanent paralysis.
Do not stop taking Eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. Stopping suddenly can increase your risk of blood clot or stroke.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Eliquis if you are allergic to apixaban, or if you have active bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other cause.
Eliquis may cause you to bleed more easily, especially if you have a bleeding disorder that is inherited or caused by disease.
Tell your doctor if you have an artificial heart valve, or if you have ever had:
liver or kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
if you are older than 80; or
if you weigh less than 132 pounds (60 kilograms).
Eliquis can cause a very serious blood clot around your spinal cord if you undergo a spinal tap or receive spinal anesthesia (epidural). This type of blood clot could cause long-term paralysis, and may be more likely to occur if:
you have a spinal catheter in place or if a catheter has been recently removed;
you have a history of spinal surgery or repeated spinal taps;
you have recently had a spinal tap or epidural anesthesia;
you are using other medicines to treat or prevent blood clots.
Taking Eliquis may increase the risk of bleeding while you are pregnant or during your delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take Eliquis?
Eliquis is usually taken twice per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
You may take Eliquis with or without food.
If you cannot swallow a tablet whole, crush and mix it with water, apple juice, or a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.
A crushed tablet mixture may also be given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Do not stop taking Eliquis unless your doctor tells you to.Stopping suddenly can increase your risk of blood clot or stroke.
If you stop taking Eliquis for any reason, your doctor may prescribe another medication to prevent blood clots until you start taking it again.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose on the same day you remember it. Take your next dose at the regular time and stay on your twice-daily schedule. Do not take two doses at one time.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Eliquis?
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Avoid medications that can increase your risk of bleeding, such as aspirin or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.
Eliquis side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Eliquis: hives; chest pain, wheezing, difficult breathing; feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Also seek emergency medical attention if you have symptoms of a spinal blood clot: back pain, numbness or muscle weakness in your lower body, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
bleeding (from any area including nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum) that will not stop;
headache, dizziness, weakness, feeling like you might pass out;
urine that looks red, pink, or brown; or
black or bloody stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
The most common side effects of Eliquis include easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), or bleeding from injection sites.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Eliquis?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Many other drugs (including some over-the-counter medicines) can increase your risk of bleeding or blood clots, or your risk of developing blood clots around the brain or spinal cord during a spinal tap or epidural. It is very important to tell your doctor about all medicines you have recently used, especially:
any other medicines to treat or prevent blood clots;
an antidepressant (including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI drugs); or
an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) used long term.
This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with apixaban. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Eliquis only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Eliquis (apixaban)
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- Drug class: factor Xa inhibitors
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