When it comes to preventing and treating blood clots, one medication that has gained considerable attention is Eliquis. With its potential to save lives and improve the quality of life for millions of people, understanding Eliquis is crucial. But what exactly is Eliquis, and how does it work? What conditions does it treat, and what precautions should be taken while using this medication? In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into everything you need to know about Eliquis, from its uses, dosage, side effects, interactions, and risks to lifestyle considerations and comparisons with other blood thinners.
Eliquis is an anticoagulant used to prevent and treat blood clots, primarily used for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE).
It is important to discuss potential risks with a healthcare provider before taking Eliquis and be aware of possible side effects.
Eliquis may interact with other medications or foods, it should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding, monitoring alcohol intake & adopting low impact lifestyle are recommended while on the medication.
Eliquis is an anticoagulant medication that has been proven effective in preventing and treating blood clots. It was first approved by the FDA in 2012. Its active ingredient, apixaban, works by inhibiting blood clotting factor Xa, thereby reducing the formation of blood clots and preventing existing clots from growing larger.
Eliquis is commonly prescribed for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE). In addition to its primary uses, Eliquis has also been approved by the FDA to prevent deep vein thrombosis following hip or knee replacement surgery.
How Eliquis Works
The active ingredient in Eliquis, apixaban, targets the enzyme known as blood clotting factor Xa, which plays a significant role in the coagulation cascade. The blocking of factor Xa’s action by Eliquis results in a reduction of blood clot formation in the body, thus it can affect blood clotting. This mechanism is particularly important in patients with atrial fibrillation, as it helps to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism.
For patients with DVT and PE, Eliquis works to treat existing clots, prevent blood clots, and stop the formation of new ones.
Following the recommended dosage guidelines for Eliquis is vital to ensure its optimal efficacy and lower the possibility of adverse side effects. Patients should consult with their doctor or pharmacist before taking certain medications with Eliquis, as they may interact and increase the risk of side effects.
Conditions Treated with Eliquis
Eliquis is prescribed for a variety of conditions that require the prevention or treatment of blood clots. One of the most common uses of Eliquis is for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat that can increase the risk of stroke and systemic embolism. By inhibiting blood clot formation, Eliquis helps to reduce the likelihood of these potentially life-threatening complications.
Eliquis is used to treat various conditions, such as AFib, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). It is an effective medical treatment for these conditions. DVT is a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, most commonly in the legs. If left untreated, these clots can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. Eliquis works to treat existing DVT and PE, and to prevent the recurrence of these conditions.
Prior to starting Eliquis, potential risks and precautions should be discussed with your health care provider. Understanding contraindications, the potential risks during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and your medical history are essential in ensuring that Eliquis is the right choice for your treatment.
Being cognizant of Eliquis’s potential side effects, such as
Eliquis has several contraindications that patients should be aware of before starting treatment. These include severe bleeding disorders, antiphospholipid syndrome, and risk of spinal cord clot. Patients with active bleeding, severe hypersensitivity reactions to Eliquis, or hepatic disease associated with coagulopathy and clinically significant bleeding risk should not take this medication.
Prior to initiating Eliquis, discussing your medical history with your healthcare provider is crucial since certain conditions may heighten the risk of complications. Inform your doctor if you have a history of intracranial hemorrhage, recent spinal tap, or recent spinal anesthesia, as these factors may increase the risk of spinal blood clots while taking Eliquis.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
The safety of Eliquis during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well-established, and it is not recommended for use in these situations due to potential unknown risks. For those who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing, discussing the potential risks and benefits of Eliquis with your healthcare provider is imperative.
Eliquis is not approved for use in children, and its safety and efficacy in this patient population have not been established.
The dosage guidelines for Eliquis can fluctuate depending on the condition under treatment.
This section will provide specific dosages for atrial fibrillation, DVT and PE treatment, and post-surgery prevention.
Eliquis is recommended for patients with atrial fibrillation, in a dosage of 5 mg two times a day. This is the usual dose prescribed by medical practitioners. However, certain patients may require a lower dosage of 2.5 mg twice daily if they meet specific criteria, such as being 80 years of age or older, weight less then 60kg, or abnormal kidney function (defined as a serum creatinine over 1.5).
Adhering to the prescribed dosage of Eliquis for atrial fibrillation is crucial, as deviations from the recommended amount can escalate the risk of stroke and blood clots. If you have questions about your Eliquis dosage, consult with your healthcare provider for guidance.
DVT and PE Treatment
For the treatment of DVT and PE, the recommended dosage of Eliquis is 10 mg taken orally twice daily for the first 7 days, followed by 5 mg taken orally twice daily.
The duration of treatment may vary based on the probability of another blood clot occurring. It is crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for Eliquis dosage during DVT and PE treatment to ensure optimal effectiveness and minimize the risk of complications.
The recommended dosage of Eliquis for post-surgery prevention varies based on the type of surgery and patient risk factors. For hip replacement surgery or knee replacement surgery, the recommended dose is 2.5 mg taken orally twice daily, with the initial dose administered 12 to 24 hours after surgery.
Following the prescribed dosage guidelines for Eliquis after surgery is crucial to minimize the risk of deep vein thrombosis and other blood clot-related complications. Consult with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your post-surgery Eliquis regimen.
Managing Missed Doses and Overdose
Following specific protocols in the event of a missed dose or overdose of Eliquis is key to ensuring appropriate treatment and avoiding complications.
In this section, we will discuss the recommended steps to take in the event of a missed dose or overdose.
Missed Dose Protocol
If you miss a dose of Eliquis, take it as soon as you remember, and then continue with your regular dosing schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and proceed with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose, as this can increase the risk of side effects.
Maintaining a consistent dosing schedule for Eliquis is essential for its effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of blood clots. Utilizing medication reminders, such as setting alarms on your phone or using reminder apps, can help ensure adherence to your Eliquis regimen.
Overdose Symptoms and Actions
Symptoms of an Eliquis overdose may include severe bleeding, which requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect that you have taken too much Eliquis, seek medical help immediately or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.
In case of an overdose, remaining calm and contacting a poison control center while adhering to the advice of healthcare professionals is crucial. Prompt intervention can help minimize the risk of complications and ensure appropriate treatment.
Eliquis Reversal Medication
In cases of severe or uncontrolled bleeding, or in preparation for emergency surgery, a reversal agent for Eliquis may be required. The FDA-approved reversal agent for Eliquis is Andexxa (Andexanet Alfa), which acts by binding to the Eliquis molecule, thereby neutralizing its anticoagulant effect. This medication can quickly reverse the anticoagulant effects of Eliquis, helping to control bleeding. However, Andexxa should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and its use should be followed by appropriate supportive measures to manage bleeding. It’s crucial to discuss with your healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits of using a reversal agent for Eliquis.
Potential Side Effects
Eliquis can lead to both frequent and severe side effects, with non major bleeding emerging as the most common issue.
In this section, we will discuss the potential side effects associated with Eliquis and provide guidance on how to manage them.
Common Side Effects
Common side effects of Eliquis include minor bleeding, bruising, and headaches. Examples of mild bleeding that can occur with Eliquis include prolonged bleeding when a cut is sustained or increased bruising and bleeding. If any of these effects persist or worsen, it is important to contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Headaches are another commonly reported side effect of Eliquis. If you experience headaches while taking Eliquis, consult with your healthcare provider for guidance on how to address this side effect.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects of Eliquis may include:
Severe bleeding, which can manifest as heavy or uncontrolled bleeding, vomiting blood or material that resembles coffee grounds, or passing black, tarry stools. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Spinal blood clots after recent spinal procedures
Allergic reactions to Eliquis are rare but can be serious. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you experience a severe allergic reaction to Eliquis, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical help.
Interactions between Eliquis and other medications, supplements, and foods could potentially affect its efficacy or lead to adverse side effects.
In this section, we will discuss the potential interactions between Eliquis and other substances and how to manage them.
Certain medications can interact with Eliquis, altering its effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. Medications that may interact with Eliquis include CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers, certain HIV drugs, and P-gp inhibitors or inducers.
Examples of medications that interfere with the metabolism of Eliquis include certain antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), conivaptan, HIV medications (such as lopinavir, rifabutin, or ritonavir), St. John’s wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), to name a few. These interactions can increase the risk of bleeding or reduce the effectiveness of Eliquis, thus increasing the risk of stroke or blood clots.
Before commencing Eliquis, you must inform your healthcare provider of all:
other medications you are taking
supplements you are using
This will help to minimize the risk of drug interactions and ensure the safe and effective use of Eliquis.
Supplement and Food Interactions
Eliquis can also interact with certain supplements and foods, potentially increasing the risk of side effects. For example, grapefruit can interact with Eliquis, leading to an increased risk of side effects. Other supplements, such as fish oil, do not appear to interact with Eliquis.
Before beginning Eliquis treatment, potential supplement and food interactions should be discussed with your healthcare provider. This will help to ensure the safe and effective use of the medication and minimize the risk of complications.
Certain lifestyle considerations while on Eliquis can contribute to the safe and effective administration of the medication. In this section, we will discuss the importance of monitoring alcohol consumption and taking precautions during daily activities to avoid injury.
Alcohol and Eliquis
Consuming alcohol while taking Eliquis may increase the risk of bleeding. It is not recommended to consume excessive alcohol while taking Eliquis, as this can increase the risk of side effects. If you choose to drink alcohol while taking Eliquis, it is important to discuss safe drinking habits with your healthcare provider.
Moderate alcohol consumption, defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, is generally considered safe for most individuals taking Eliquis. However, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming alcohol to ensure that it is safe for you.
Taking precautions in day-to-day activities is vital to prevent injuries that could result in bleeding complications while on Eliquis. Engage in low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, and biking, and avoid high impact activities and sports that could lead to injury, such as bruising, cutting, or any other form of trauma.
Additionally, take extra care while shaving or brushing your teeth to minimize the risk of bleeding. By adopting these lifestyle considerations, you can help to ensure the safe and effective use of Eliquis while minimizing the risk of complications.
Comparing Eliquis to Other Blood Thinners
When it comes to effectiveness, side effects, and costs, Eliquis can be weighed against other blood thinners such as Xarelto and Warfarin.
In this section, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Eliquis, a blood thinner, and these other blood thinners.
Eliquis vs. Xarelto
Eliquis and Xarelto are both anticoagulant medications with similar uses and side effects. Both drugs are employed to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in individuals with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and to treat and decrease the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Common side effects of both medications include bleeding, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
However, studies have shown that Eliquis may be more effective than Xarelto in preventing DVT and PE recurrence, with a lower risk of major bleeding.
Discussing the most suitable anticoagulant medication for your individual needs with your healthcare provider is crucial.
Eliquis vs. Warfarin
Eliquis and Warfarin are both anticoagulant medications used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in individuals with atrial fibrillation. However, they act in different ways in the body to impede blood clot formation. Warfarin is a generic drug that has been available for many years, while Eliquis is a newer medication.
Studies have shown that Eliquis is more effective than Warfarin in treating DVT and PE and preventing blood clots and stroke in AFib patients. Additionally, Eliquis has been associated with fewer bleeding risks compared to Warfarin and does not require regular blood monitoring.
For your specific needs, it’s essential to engage in a discussion with your healthcare provider about the most appropriate anticoagulant medication.
In this comprehensive guide, we have covered the essential aspects of Eliquis, from its uses and dosages to potential side effects and drug interactions. Eliquis is a powerful anticoagulant medication that can significantly reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in various conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. However, it is crucial to take precautions and follow the advice of healthcare professionals to ensure the safe and effective use of Eliquis.
As with any medication, it is essential to understand the potential risks and benefits of taking Eliquis and discuss them with your healthcare provider. By staying informed and making informed decisions about your treatment, you can help to ensure the best possible outcomes for your health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you avoid while taking Eliquis?
It is recommended to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit products while taking Eliquis as it can increase the risk of bleeding. It is also wise to limit your alcohol intake, while not interacting directly with Eliquis, it may increase the risk of serious bleeding events.
How do I get Eliquis for $10 a month?
You can get Eliquis for $10 a month by using an Eliquis discount card at a participating pharmacy and presenting an activated Co-pay Card with a valid prescription. This offer is available for up to 24 months from the date of activation, subject to a maximum annual benefit.
Which is a side effect of Eliquis?
Eliquis may cause minor bleeding, which may include nosebleeds, light bruising, longer-than-usual bleeding from cuts or heavy menstrual periods. In rare cases, more serious side effects such as chest pain and swelling of the face, tongue, or difficulty breathing may occur. If these occur, it is important to seek medical help immediately.
What else is Eliquis used for?
Eliquis® (apixaban) is an anticoagulant used to reduce the risk of stroke and embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation, prevent blood clots in hip or knee replacement patients, treat deep vein thrombosis, and reduce the risk of recurrence of blood clots.