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.
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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Eliquis if you are allergic to apixaban, if you have an artificial heart valve, or if you have any 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.
To make sure Eliquis is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- 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.
This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. However, taking this medicine 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.
It is not known whether apixaban passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Eliquis.
How should I take Eliquis?
Eliquis is usually taken twice per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take Eliquis with or without food.
To make swallowing easier, you may crush an Eliquis tablet and mix the medicine with water or apple juice, or with a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use. The mixture will no longer be good after 4 hours.
Eliquis can be given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Crush the tablet and mix the medicine in a syringe with 60 milliliters of 5% dextrose in water (D5W). Give this mixture right away through the NG tube. Do not save for later use. Do not give this mixture by mouth.
Because Eliquis keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, this medicine can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury such as a fall or a bump on the head. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you fall or hit your head, or have any 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 before you have surgery or other medical procedures.
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 this medicine for any reason, your doctor may prescribe another medication to prevent blood clots until you start taking Eliquis again.
Use regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking apixaban:
- Blood in the eyes
- blood in the urine
- bloody or black, tarry stools
- bruising or purple areas on the skin
- coughing up blood
- decreased alertness
- difficulty swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, skin rash
- joint pain or swelling
- nausea and vomiting
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness of the eye
- severe stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
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