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Eliquis

Generic Name: apixaban (a PIX a ban)
Brand Names: Eliquis

Medically reviewed on Jun 8, 2018

What is Eliquis?

See also: Plavix

Eliquis (apixaban) blocks the activity of certain clotting substances in the blood.

Eliquis is used to lower the risk of stroke caused by a blood clot in people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.

Eliquis is also used after hip or knee replacement surgery to prevent a type of blood clot called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Eliquis is also used to treat DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), and to lower your risk of having a repeat DVT or PE.

Important Information

You should not take Eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve, or if you have any active bleeding from a surgery, injury, or other cause.

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.

Get emergency medical help if you have symptoms of a spinal cord blood clot such as back pain, numbness or muscle weakness in your lower body, or loss of bladder or bowel control.

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:

  • an artificial heart valve; or

  • 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 ever had:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • liver disease;

  • if you are older than 80; or

  • if you weigh less than 132 pounds.

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 taking an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) - ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others; or

  • you are using other medicines to treat or prevent blood clots.

Taking Eliquis during pregnancy 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.

Eliquis can make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Seek medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the doctor or dentist ahead of time if you have taken Eliquis within the past 24 hours. You may need to stop taking this medicine for a short time.

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.

Eliquis dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Eliquis for Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prophylaxis:

2.5 mg orally 2 times a day

Duration of therapy:
-Hip replacement: 35 days
-Knee replacement: 12 days

Comments:
-The initial dose should be taken 12 to 24 hours after surgery (for hip or knee replacement surgery prophylaxis).

Uses:
-Prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which may lead to pulmonary embolism (PE), in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery.
-Reduction in the risk of recurrence of DVT and PE following initial therapy.

Usual Adult Dose of Eliquis for Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Hip Replacement Surgery:

2.5 mg orally 2 times a day

Duration of therapy:
-Hip replacement: 35 days
-Knee replacement: 12 days

Comments:
-The initial dose should be taken 12 to 24 hours after surgery (for hip or knee replacement surgery prophylaxis).

Uses:
-Prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which may lead to pulmonary embolism (PE), in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery.
-Reduction in the risk of recurrence of DVT and PE following initial therapy.

Usual Adult Dose of Eliquis for Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Knee Replacement Surgery:

2.5 mg orally 2 times a day

Duration of therapy:
-Hip replacement: 35 days
-Knee replacement: 12 days

Comments:
-The initial dose should be taken 12 to 24 hours after surgery (for hip or knee replacement surgery prophylaxis).

Uses:
-Prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which may lead to pulmonary embolism (PE), in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery.
-Reduction in the risk of recurrence of DVT and PE following initial therapy.

Usual Adult Dose of Eliquis for Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation:

5 mg orally 2 times a day

Use: Reduction of risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

Usual Adult Dose of Eliquis for Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis:

5 mg orally 2 times a day

Use: Reduction of risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

Usual Adult Dose for Deep Vein Thrombosis:

Initial dose: 10 mg orally 2 times a day for 7 days
Maintenance dose: 5 mg orally 2 times a day

Use: Treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Usual Adult Dose for Pulmonary Embolism:

Initial dose: 10 mg orally 2 times a day for 7 days
Maintenance dose: 5 mg orally 2 times a day

Use: Treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

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.

Eliquis side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Eliquis: hives; difficult breathing; 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:

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), bleeding from wounds or needle injections, any bleeding that will not stop;

  • heavy menstrual periods;

  • 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.

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;

  • a blood thinner such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • an antidepressant; 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.

Further information

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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