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Eliquis (Generic Apixaban)

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Eliquis (apixaban) is a commonly prescribed blood thinner used to prevent blood clots in people with conditions like atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. While it’s generally effective and safe for many patients, there are some risks associated with taking Eliquis:

  • Risk of Bleeding: As with any blood thinner, Eliquis can increase the risk of bleeding, which can sometimes be serious or life-threatening. This includes bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, brain, or other organs.
  • Risk of Stroke if Suddenly Stopped: Stopping Eliquis suddenly can increase the risk of blood clots, including stroke, particularly in people with atrial fibrillation.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Eliquis can interact with other medications, particularly other blood thinners or drugs that affect blood clotting, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding or reducing its effectiveness.
  • Risk of Allergic Reactions: Some people may experience allergic reactions to Eliquis, though this is relatively rare.
  • Risk of Liver Injury: In rare cases, Eliquis can cause liver injury or abnormal liver function tests.
  • Increased Risk for Specific Groups: Certain groups may have an increased risk of side effects with Eliquis, including older adults, people with kidney problems, and those with a history of bleeding disorders.

It’s essential for patients taking Eliquis to follow their doctor’s instructions carefully, report any unusual bleeding or symptoms promptly, and inform healthcare providers about all medications and supplements they are taking to minimize risks.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Eliquis (apixaban) is primarily prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with certain medical conditions, notably:

  • Atrial Fibrillation: Eliquis is commonly prescribed to patients with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm) to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE): It’s also used to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, which are blood clots that typically form in the legs and can travel to the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening condition.

How should this medicine be used?

The dosage and usage instructions for Eliquis typically depend on the patient’s medical condition and individual factors. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Dosage: The standard dosage for most adults is 5 mg taken orally twice daily. However, in certain situations such as advanced age, low body weight, or renal impairment, a lower dosage may be prescribed.
  • Timing: Eliquis is usually taken at the same times each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in the blood.
  • Administration: It’s typically taken with or without food, as directed by the healthcare provider.
  • Duration of Treatment: The duration of Eliquis treatment varies depending on the medical condition being treated and individual factors. It’s essential to follow the prescribed duration of treatment unless instructed otherwise by a healthcare professional.
  • Special Considerations: Patients should not stop taking Eliquis abruptly without consulting their healthcare provider, as doing so can increase the risk of blood clots. Additionally, patients should promptly report any signs of unusual bleeding or bruising while taking Eliquis.

As with any medication, it’s crucial for patients to follow their doctor’s instructions carefully and to inform healthcare providers about any other medications or supplements they are taking to avoid potential interactions or complications.

Other uses for this medicine

While Eliquis (apixaban) is primarily prescribed for reducing the risk of stroke and blood clots in conditions like atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE), it may have other off-label uses as determined by healthcare providers. However, it’s essential to note that using Eliquis for off-label purposes should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Some special precautions to follow when taking Eliquis include:

  • Bleeding Risk: Eliquis is an anticoagulant, or blood thinner, which increases the risk of bleeding. It’s crucial to be vigilant for signs of bleeding, including unusual bruising, nosebleeds, blood in urine or stool, or prolonged bleeding from cuts or injuries. Seek medical attention promptly if any signs of bleeding occur.
  • Avoid Skipping Doses: Consistency in taking Eliquis is vital for maintaining its effectiveness in preventing blood clots. Do not skip doses unless advised by a healthcare provider.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as any supplements you are taking. Some medications, such as other blood thinners or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with Eliquis.
  • Liver or Kidney Problems: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any liver or kidney problems, as they may affect the dosage or frequency of Eliquis. Adjustments to the dosage may be necessary in these situations.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Eliquis is generally not recommended during pregnancy because it may increase the risk of bleeding in the mother and fetus. It’s also not recommended while breastfeeding, as it may pass into breast milk.
  • Medical Procedures: Inform healthcare providers about your use of Eliquis before undergoing any surgical procedures, including dental procedures. They may advise temporarily stopping the medication to reduce the risk of bleeding during the procedure.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Limit alcohol consumption while taking Eliquis, as excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may recommend regular monitoring of blood tests, such as complete blood count (CBC) and kidney function tests, to ensure Eliquis is working effectively and to monitor for any potential complications.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and advice regarding the use of Eliquis, and do not make any changes to your medication regimen without consulting them first.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for Eliquis are generally not necessary. However, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can contribute to overall well-being and may indirectly support the effectiveness of Eliquis in preventing blood clots. It’s important to avoid excessive intake of vitamin K-rich foods, as vitamin K can interfere with the anticoagulant effects of Eliquis. However, drastic dietary changes are typically not required, and patients should consult their healthcare provider for personalized advice.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Eliquis, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are unsure about what to do, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Eliquis (apixaban) can cause various side effects, though not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of Eliquis include:

  • Bleeding: The most significant risk associated with Eliquis is an increased tendency to bleed. This can manifest as easy bruising, nosebleeds, blood in urine or stool, or prolonged bleeding from cuts or injuries.
  • Nausea: Some people may experience nausea or an upset stomach while taking Eliquis.
  • Minor Bruising: Bruising at the injection site may occur, particularly for individuals receiving Eliquis via injection.
  • Headache: Headaches are a relatively common side effect of Eliquis.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may feel dizzy or lightheaded while taking Eliquis.
  • Joint Pain: Joint pain or discomfort is reported by some people using Eliquis.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or fatigued is another potential side effect of Eliquis.
  • Low Hemoglobin Levels: Eliquis can cause a decrease in hemoglobin levels in some individuals.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, allergic reactions to Eliquis can occur. Symptoms may include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
  • Liver Problems: In rare cases, Eliquis may cause liver problems or abnormal liver function tests.

It’s important to note that while some side effects may be relatively mild and resolve on their own, others may require medical attention. If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Eliquis, it’s crucial to contact your healthcare provider for guidance. Additionally, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or taking other medications should be vigilant for potential interactions or exacerbation of symptoms.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Eliquis (Apixaban):


  • Store Eliquis tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
  • Keep the medication in its original packaging or container to protect it from light and moisture.
  • Do not store Eliquis in the bathroom or in places with high humidity.
  • Keep Eliquis out of reach of children and pets.


  • Dispose of unused or expired Eliquis tablets properly.
  • Do not flush Eliquis down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance on the proper disposal of Eliquis. They may recommend using a medication take-back program or returning the medication to a pharmacy for safe disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of overdose or emergency, seek immediate medical attention or call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
  • Symptoms of Eliquis overdose may include excessive bleeding, bruising, or signs of internal bleeding. Prompt medical intervention is essential in such cases.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform all healthcare providers, including dentists and pharmacists, about your use of Eliquis before undergoing any medical procedures or starting new medications.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring of your condition and response to Eliquis therapy.
  • Carry identification, such as a medical alert bracelet or card, indicating that you are taking Eliquis, particularly if you have a condition such as atrial fibrillation that may require emergency medical treatment.
  • Do not stop taking Eliquis without consulting your healthcare provider, as sudden cessation can increase the risk of blood clots and stroke.
  • Keep a record of your medications, including Eliquis, and ensure that you have an adequate supply to avoid missed doses.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about Eliquis or its usage, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance and clarification.

By following these guidelines, you can safely store, dispose of, and respond to emergencies involving Eliquis while minimizing risks and ensuring optimal treatment outcomes.

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