Eliquis (apixaban) helps in blocking the activity of blood clotting in the blood due to an irregular heartbeat. Eliquis helps in lowering the risk of getting a stroke due to a blood clot in people with atrial fibrillation which is a disorder of heart rhythm.
In atrial fibrillation, the heart does not beat as it normally should, and because of this, blood clots start to form. These blood clots then travel to other parts of your body and increase the chances of you having a stroke.
This medication can also be used after you’ve recently had knee or hip replacement surgery to prevent deep vein thrombosis (a type of blood clot). This blood clot can also cause blood clotting in the lungs.
How It Works
Eliquis (Apixaban) is an anticoagulant and works by blocking clotting of proteins in the blood as quickly as it can. This is done by blocking a specific substance in our blood known as “factor Xa,” and this substance is involved in developing blood clots.
Blood clots sometimes form in the blood vessels of your brain, lungs, legs, and heart, leading to a blockage. This happens mostly if you’ve undergone surgery or have an irregular and rapid heartbeat.
Like with every other medication, Eliquis also has some common side effects. These common side effects include nausea, minor bleeding, and easy bruising.
These side effects are nothing to worry about, but if they start to worsen, then you may seek medical help immediately. Remember that you have been prescribed this medication because your doctor believes that the benefits of Eliquis are greater than the side effects.
Many people who take this drug do not experience any serious side effects; however, this medication can lead to serious bleeding if it affects the blood clotting protein severely. Some side effects include:
- Unusual pain
- Unusual swelling
- Prolonged bleeding due to cuts and gums
- Frequent nosebleeds.
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual flow
- Dark or pink urine
- Coughing out blood
- Vomit that may look like coffee ground
- Unusual tiredness
- Black or tarry stool
If your experience any of the mentioned side effects, then visit a doctor immediately and get medical help in case of vision changing, slurred speech, weakness, and confusion.
Before using Eliquis, let your doctor know if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This medicine contains inactive ingredients that can lead to allergic reactions.
Make sure your physician knows all about your medical history especially liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders such as anaemia, and blood disorders such as bleeding in stomach, brain, and intestines.
Also, let your doctor know if you are using this medication before having surgery or any dental and medical procedure. Your doctor must know about the other drugs you are using with Eliquis including prescription drugs, herbal products, and nonprescription drugs.
Your dentist or physician may advise you not to take apixaban before your surgery; don’t forget to ask for specific instructions about starting as well as stopping this medication. Particularly, be cautious about using this medication during a spinal procedure as people may bleed near the spinal cord and this can lead to long-lasting or permanent paralysis.
If you stop taking this medication at an early stage, then you may increase the risk of forming fatal blood clots.
Eliquis may also cause stomach bleeding so daily drinking of alcohol along with this medication can increase the risk of getting stomach bleeding. When on this medication, limit the usage of alcoholic drinks and also ask your physician about how much alcohol you can consume safely.
When pregnant, use this medication only if needed and to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Also, consult your practitioner about the use of this medication before breastfeeding as it is not known if this medication can pass in your breast milk.
How To Use Eliquis
Eliquis is to be taken orally with or without food, as advised by your doctor. It can be taken twice a day usually every twelve hours.
If you are unable to swallow this tablet, then you may crush the tablet and can mix it with apple juice, water, and even applesauce, but you must take it right away.
The dosage of this drug depends on your medical condition, age, weight, kidney function, other medications that you are taking, and how you respond to the treatment. Make sure your doctor knows the medications and products you are using.
If you are using Eliquis to stop the formation of blood clots after having surgery, then the treatment’s length depends entirely on the type of surgery you had.
Make sure to use this medication regularly to get the most benefits out of it and also use it at the same time every day, so you do not forget.
What to avoid while taking apixaban?
During your treatment with Eliquis, make sure that you avoid any activities that can increase the risk of you getting injured, or result in you bleeding.
Make sure you take extra care and prevent bleeding while brushing your teeth or shaving your face and body.
What drugs can affect Eliquis?
Some drugs can affect the way Eliquis work and also make it less effective. These drugs, when taken with Eliquis, can increase blood clots, and it is important that your doctor has knowledge about any of the following drugs used by you:
- Other drugs to prevent and treat blood clots
- A blood thinner such as warfarin or heparin
- Any antidepressant
- An NSAID (non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) used for a long period of time
What to do in case of an overdose?
In case of an overdose or if someone has experienced serious symptoms such as loss of control of bladder or trouble breathing or has passed out, rush to the hospital immediately.
In case you forget a dose and the time of the second dose is near, then take a single dose and skip the dose that you missed.