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Eliquis

Eliquis is an anticoagulant medicine. The active ingredient apixaban prevents the formation of blood clots, thereby reducing the risk of thrombosis.

Eliquis

Eliquis is an anticoagulant medicine. The active ingredient apixaban prevents the formation of blood clots, thereby reducing the risk of thrombosis.

Table of Contents

What is Eliquis?

When is Eliquis used?

How is Eliquis used?

What doses are available?

What are the side effects of Eliquis?

When not to use Eliquis?

Can Eliquis be used in combination with other medicines?

Where can I buy Eliquis?

Can I buy Eliquis without a prescription?

Sources

What is Eliquis?

The anticoagulant Eliquis contains the active ingredient apixaban. This medicine inhibits the action of a protein involved in the blood clotting process (clotting factor Xa). This prevents the formation of blood clots.

Eliquis is an anticoagulant medicine, also known as a blood thinner. Eliquis is a fast-acting medicine. The anticoagulant effect of Eliquis persists for about 12 hours. Eliquis does not require monitoring by an anticoagulant clinic as is the case with the use of other blood thinners.

When is Eliquis used?

Sometimes blood clots can form inside the blood vessels. This is dangerous because the clot can block the blood vessel. Or it may travel in the bloodstream and eventually get lodged in a blood vessel such as the heart (causing a heart attack), brain (causing a stroke) or lungs (a pulmonary embolism).

People who have an increased risk of blood clots are typically treated with an anticoagulant such as Eliquis. As a result, the blood is less able to clot. Eliquis is primarily prescribed for:

  • Preventing blood clots in patients that have had hip or knee replacement surgery.
  • Preventing blood clots that could cause a stroke in patients with a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.
  • Treating blood clots in the veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and preventing recurrence.

How is Eliquis used?

It is important to follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist when using Eliquis. The general guidelines for use are as follows:

  • The tablets should be taken at the same time each day to avoid missing a dose. This is important because the anticoagulant effect of this type of medicine fades rapidly.
  • This medicine is usually taken twice a day. Space the doses evenly throughout the day for more stable levels (e.g. morning and evening).
  • Eliquis can be taken with or without food.
  • The tablets should be swallowed whole with some water. If you have difficulty swallowing the tablets, they may be crushed prior to administration and taken with some apple sauce or dissolved in water.
  • Missed a dose? If you remember that you missed a dose on the same day, you may go ahead and take your dose even if it's almost time for the next scheduled dose. If you do not remember until the following day, then skip the missed dose and follow your regular dosing schedule.

For more information on how to use Eliquis, see the package leaflet.

What doses are available?

Eliquis is available in tablets of 2.5 mg and 5 mg. Strength, length of treatment and daily dose must be determined by a doctor. The general guidelines for use are as follows:

  • Adults:

Depending on the condition: one to two tablets of the prescribed strength, twice a day.

The doctor may decide to adjust the dose after a while according to your body’s response to the medicine. This medicine is not suitable for use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

For more information on the dosage of Eliquis, see the package leaflet.

What are the side effects of Eliquis?

Eliquis is generally well tolerated but can, nevertheless, cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects of this medicine include:

  • Bleeding (e.g. gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding in the eyes). If you notice blood in your urine or your stool, bleeding in the eyes, unusual vaginal bleeding, or any other type of bleeding, or if you vomit blood or cough up blood, it's important that you let your doctor know straight away.
  • Stomach or intestinal problems. Consult a doctor if the side effects are persistent.
  • Anaemia.
  • Low blood pressure.

For a complete list of possible side effects, see the package leaflet. Consult a doctor if you experience these or any other side effects.

When not to use Eliquis?

This anticoagulant medicine is not suitable for everyone. Do not use Eliquis if you:

  • are allergic to the active ingredient apixaban or any other ingredient in this medicine.
  • currently have any severe bleeding or have any condition that increases the risk of bleeding, such as certain liver diseases, an aneurysm, a peptic ulcer or recent brain haemorrhage.
  • are taking other anticoagulant medicines (unless you are switching to Eliquis).
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding.

In some cases, Eliquis should be used with extreme caution. For instance, if you:

  • have a bleeding disorder.
  • have very high blood pressure.
  • are older than 75 years of age.
  • weigh less than 60 kilos.
  • have severe kidney problems or are a dialysis patient.
  • have or have had liver problems.
  • have an artificial heart valve.
  • need surgery.

For a complete list of warnings, see the package leaflet. If the above warnings apply to you or if you are not sure whether Eliquis is suitable for you, speak to a doctor.

Can Eliquis be used in combination with other medicines?

Some medicines may influence the effects of Eliquis. Therefore, it's important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking before you start using Eliquis. The following medicines are known to interact with Eliquis:

  • Medicines that can affect blood clotting, such as aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), phenprocoumon and acenocoumarol.
  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac and celecoxib.
  • Certain medications to treat epilepsy.
  • Certain antidepressants.
  • Certain blood pressure medications.
  • Certain HIV and AIDS inhibitors.
  • Certain antifungal medicines (e.g. ketoconazole).

For a complete list of medicines that may interfere with the way Eliquis works, please see the package leaflet. Your doctor will also have a list of medicines that you should avoid mixing Eliquis with.

Where can I buy Eliquis?

Eliquis is only available at pharmacies or online pharmacies.

Can I buy Eliquis without a prescription?

Eliquis is a prescription-only medicine. This means you need a prescription from a registered doctor to obtain it.

Sources

The Netherlands Heart Foundation. (n.d.). What you need to know about anticoagulant medicines. Heart Foundation. Consulted on 16 June 2021 on https://www.hartstichting.nl/hart-en-vaatziekten/behandelingen/medicijnen/antistollingsmedicijnen

Royal Dutch Pharmaceutical Society. (20 July 2020). Eliquis. Apotheek.nl. https://www.apotheek.nl/medicijnen/apixaban?product=eliquis

Pharma.be. (15 April 2021). Eliquis. E-compendium. https://www.e-compendium.be/nl/bijsluiters/patient/3497

Anticoagulant Service Leiden. (4 December 2017). New Anticoagulant Medicines. Trombosedienst-leiden.nl. https://trombosedienst-leiden.nl/trombose-3/trombose/antistolling/nieuwe-antistollingsmedicijnen/

Dutch National Health Care Institute. (29 March 2021). Apixaban. Farmacotherapeutic Compass. https://www.farmacotherapeutischkompas.nl/bladeren/preparaatteksten/a/apixaban

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