Eliquis is an FDA-approved brand-name prescription drug to prevent and treat blood clots that can obstruct blood vessels in your body. Also, it is used to reduce the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation caused by a blood clot.
This brand-name blood thinner helps mitigate blood clots in people who have recently had knee or hip replacement surgery. Eliquis is also linked with some significant side effects as a blood thinner.
Your doctor will decide whether taking Eliquis is right for you or not. In the meantime, here are things you need to know about this certain medication.
How It Works
Eliquis belongs to a class of drugs called factor Xa blockers or anticoagulants. It is a blood thinner that helps put a stop to blood clot formation in your body by obstructing the substance factor Xa.
This lowers the amount of thrombin in your blood, which is a substance that makes your platelets stick to one another, causing clot formation.
In general, this brand-name prescription drug is approved for use in adults to:
- Treat Pulmonary Embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot limiting blood flow to your lungs. This blockage occurs when a deep vein thrombosis gets displaced and moves through your veins to your lungs.
- Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a deep vein. This medical condition is generally seen in a vein in your leg, but it can also present itself in your arm.
- Prevent DVT In People Who’ve Had Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery. These major surgeries increase your risk of getting DVT that may lead to PE.
- Prevent PE Or DVT From Recurring. Eliquis helps prevent these types of blood clots from happening again after you have had initial treatment for a PE or DVT.
Moreover, Eliquis comes as an oral medication in tablet form. It is available in strengths of 2.5 mg and 5 mg for oral administration and contains the active drug apixaban.
Eliquis can cause mild to severe side effects. Mild side effects can include anemia, nausea, and bruising more easily. These side effects usually go away within a couple of weeks. On the other hand, serious side effects may include the following:
- Blood clots in your spine
- Increased risk for blood clots if you stop the treatment early
- Allergic reaction
Some individuals can have a sensitive reaction after taking Eliquis. According to clinical studies, sensitivities to the drug occurred in at least one percent of people with atrial fibrillation. Allergic reactions may include flushing, itching, skin rash, trouble breathing, and the swelling of the throat, mouth, tongue, and under the skin, such as eyelids.
Additionally, since Eliquis prevents clots from forming, it increases your risk for bleeding. You might notice that you bleed or bruise easily while taking Eliquis. Minor bleeding may include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, and rectal bleeding.
In some cases, the bleeding might be life-threatening. Say, for instance, internal bleeding can occur in your joints, liver, or lungs. Note that bleeding can happen anywhere in your body. In clinical studies, bleeding happened in:
- 0.5% of people who took Eliquis to prevent or treat DVT or PE.
- 0.1% to 2.13% of people who took the blood-thinning drug for any condition.
The dosage your healthcare provider prescribes will depend on a few factors, including:
- Other drugs or medicines you might be taking.
- The main reason you are using Eliquis.
Your doctor will decide the best Eliquis dosage to suit your needs. But the usual dosage to treat PE or DVT is as follows:
- You will take 10 mg of Eliquis twice a day for one whole week to start your treatment.
- Then, you can take 5 mg once a day for as long as your healthcare provider prescribes.
The usual dosage to prevent PE or DVT from recurring is 2.5 mg twice a day for as long as your doctor prescribes. What’s more, Eliquis can be expensive. As such, look for websites that offer a discount on Eliquis so you can save money when purchasing this medicine.
Note that Eliquis can interact with other medications. Also, it can interact with some foods and supplements. Various interactions can cause different effects. For example, some can hinder or limit how well a medication works. Other interactions can make the side effects worse.
Examples of medications that may interact with Eliquis:
Make sure to talk with your doctor about all the medications you take before taking Eliquis to avoid possible interactions.
Eliquis comes with significant risks. But you can prevent common side effects from occurring by taking your dose regularly and informing your doctor about all the drugs you’re taking. Also, since Eliquis can make you bruise easier than usual, always be careful when doing physical activities or using sharp objects that can cause minor injuries to any part of your body.