Eliquis is an anticoagulant medicine that has the property to thin the blood and prevent the risk of clotting of blood inside blood vessels. Eliquis is prescribed if there is a risk of thrombosis, which may cause dangerous consequences like different diseases and complications.
The drug is usually prescribed after surgical interventions or to patients with high-risk factors, including diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, prior stroke, or age over 75 years.
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- Brand Name: Eliquis;
- Active Ingredient: Apixaban;
- Manufacturer: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Pfizer.
Eliquis and its active substance Apixaban
The drug's active substance is Apixaban, a highly selective direct factor Xa inhibitor that causes prothrombin conversion to thrombin, responsible for forming a blood clot. Clot formation is reduced as a result of the active substance effect.
Eliquis starts working 3 - 4 hours after administration when the concentration of the active ingredient in the blood reaches the maximum level. The drug is intended for a course of treatment to ensure the anticoagulant effect.
Indications for use
The target application of the medicine aims to reduce the risk of thrombosis. EMA has officially approved Eliquis for use in the following cases:
- To prevent venous thromboembolism in adults following a hip or knee replacement operation;
- To treat deep vein thrombosis;
- To treat pulmonary embolism;
- To prevent stroke;
- To prevent blood clots in other organs in adults with atrial fibrillation;
- To use in patients who have risk factors (diabetes mellitus, heart failure, previous stroke, arterial hypertension, or being 75 years old or over).
Treatment regimens and dosages
Eliquis is available in doses of 2.5 mg and 5 mg for oral use in the form of tablets. Depending on each case, a doctor may prescribe you different dosages and treatment regimens. It is recommended to take the following standard Eliquis doses:
- Following a hip or knee replacement operation, a single dose of 2.5 mg twice daily is prescribed. The treatment should start 12 - 24 hours after the surgery. The duration of treatment is 10 - 14 days (after knee replacement operation) or 32 - 28 days (after hip replacement operation);
- Eliquis 5 mg twice a day is prescribed in case of atrial fibrillation;
- To treat deep vein thrombosis, a 10 mg dose twice daily during a week is prescribed. Then, the dosage is adjusted to 5 mg twice daily for 3 months. A dose of 2.5 mg twice daily is used to prevent blood clots;
- In the case of pulmonary embolism, the treatment regimen and dosage similar to deep vein thrombosis are usually prescribed.
Depending on your state, a doctor may prescribe you doses different from the one described above. Strictly follow the recommendations of the doctor and do not engage in self-treatment. During the treatment, a doctor may order regular blood tests to monitor your health and adjust Eliquis dosage if needed.
Recommendations for use
Follow the recommendations given below to get the maximum effect from treatment:
- Take the drug at the same time;
- If you have trouble swallowing a tablet, grind it and mix it with water, apple juice, or applesauce;
- Take Eliquis regardless of the meal.
Although no data are available on the possible interaction between Eliquis and alcohol, it is advised to avoid it during treatment. Alcohol mixed with Apixaban may increase the risk of hemorrhage, reducing blood clotting.
Also, do not consume products like grapefruit and grapefruit juice during treatment because they slow down the excretion of the active substance from the body, increasing its level in the blood and intensifying side effects.
If you missed the Eliquis dose, take it as soon as possible. If the following dose is soon to be taken, skip the administration and have the drug according to the treatment regimen. Do not double up doses to catch up. It may lead to overdose and other dangerous consequences.
Inform your doctor about all the diseases you have before starting the treatment to avoid possible adverse reactions. It is not recommended to use Eliquis if you have any of the following conditions:
- If you are allergic to the active or other ingredients of the drug;
- If you have been diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome;
- If you have liver disease, which contributes to a bleeding disorder;
- If you suffer from an ulcer of the intestine and other conditions that increase the risk of bleeding;
- If you have an active bleed.
Please inform a doctor or health workers that you are taking Eliquis if you are to undergo any interventions, including dental or surgical procedures because the drug can increase the risk of bleeding. It is possible that you will have to stop taking the medication before the procedure.
Also, try to avoid any injuries that are likely to result in bleeding. Call your doctor if you get injured, even if you are feeling well. The drug is not intended for patients under the age of 18 years. Discuss with your doctor if the introduction of the drug is necessary in the presence of vital indications.
Use of Eliquis during pregnancy
Use of Eliquis during pregnancy is possible if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. In case the treatment is necessary, it should be undergone under strict medical supervision.
Breastfeeding at the time of treatment with Eliquis is excluded due to the possible risk to the baby.
Possible side effects
Like other drugs, Eliquis may cause side effects. Usually, they are mild and are noted in 1 - 10 patients out of 100. The most common adverse reactions are the following:
- Nosebleeds or other bleeding;
- Low blood pressure;
- Skin rash.
Severe side effects are rare and may include the conditions listed below:
- Joint pain and inflammation;
- Blood in the urine;
- Pain and chest pressure.
Treatment with Eliquis provokes severe adverse reactions extremely rarely. Do not ignore any worsening in well-being during the treatment course. If side effects increase or you start experiencing other adverse reactions, immediately contact your doctor to avoid dangerous complications.
Eliquis: interaction with other drugs
Before starting treatment with Eliquis, inform your doctor about all medications you take because some may interact with Apixaban. It is not recommended to take Eliquis with the following drug types:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
- Other blood thinning medications;
- Some anticonvulsants;
- Some antidepressants;
- Protease inhibitors;
- Some azole antifungals;
- Preparations based on St. John's wort.
The list of drug interactions is not complete. Read the instructions to the drug or contact your pharmacist for more detailed information.
Store Eliquis in a dry place inaccessible to children and pets at room temperature. Do not take this medicine if it has expired or is damaged.
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After treatment with Eliquis, I had no traces of thrombosis. I did not expect such a fantastic effect! Now, I try to pay more attention to my health.
Diagnosis: deep vein thrombosis obtained after a leg injury. There was severe leg swelling. I took the drug for a month at a dose of 10 mg. Swelling decreased. There were no side effects.
Five years ago, after the birth of my third child, I was diagnosed with thrombophlebitis in my lower extremities. Eliquis helped to avoid surgery! Very grateful for this drug. But you need to take it only under the supervision of a doctor. I’ve had several changes during my treatment.
A few months ago, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. The doctor recommended Eliquis. Now about the effect... It works, but the effect has not come at once; I had to wait two months. I feel my heart is working better than before. No pain and anxiety.
Diagnosis: thrombophilia; female, 63 years old. I have been taking this drug every day for three months to avoid problems with clots. In my case, the risk is very high. Side effects (weakness and dizziness) only occurred twice when I forgot to take the pill.
After endoprosthesis surgery on the hip joint, the doctor prescribed this drug. I never had problems with clots. Thanks to this drug, they did not appear. So Eliquis coped with its task.
Diagnosis - pulmonary artery thromboembolism - blockage of vital arteries by clots and, as a result, difficulty breathing. The pills are expensive but effective. I have taken the drug for almost a year and a half, the shortness of breath has disappeared, and the test results are good. I continue my treatment.
Taking these pills to prevent venous thrombosis after surgery. The effectiveness of the drug is OK. It really helps the body to recover.
For 10 years, I have been hypertonic, and a year and a half ago, I also learned I have atrial fibrillation. My doc prescribed Eliquis. There are no side effects, but I can’t tell if the drug is working or not. So far, no complaints.
I was told to take it for 35 days due to lower limb vein thrombosis. I had no side effects. At the end of the treatment, I made a few tests. No clots. So, I’m happy with the medication.
I take the drug every day for two years after a heart attack to avoid blood clots and new incidents. I feel fine now.
This drug did not suit me. When I started taking it, I had dizziness and tinnitus. And when I went to the toilet, I saw blood in the urine. I stopped taking it.
I suffer from varicose veins. Things were horrible with my left leg, and the doctor decided to prescribe me Eliquis. It helped.
I’m satisfied. The clot is dissolving. The surgeon noted a positive dynamic. But I still have to do some tests.
After falling off a roof, I had a fracture and underwent multiple surgeries. After my last surgery, I was prescribed to take Eliquis pills with another drug to avoid the blood clots. The drug worked perfectly. No complaints.
The drug's price is high, but it is fully consistent with the quality. The medication helped me with atrial fibrillation and prevented thrombosis in different parts of the body.
A few years ago, nothing foretold troubles until I was hospitalized and diagnosed with thrombosis. The diagnosis is not a pleasant one. I was really shocked by it. The medication helped me to prevent surgery! I am very grateful for it.
My mother has been hypertonic for years, and on the last examination, it turned out that she also has a flickering arrhythmia. They prescribed the drug Eliquis because it prevents thrombosis. We are pleased with the result; my mom’s condition has improved.
The pills helped me well with vein thrombosis, but my stomach and digestive system as a whole suffered from side effects.
I could not decide on laser surgery on the veins for a long time, but I had to do it. After that, I was told to take Eliquis. It is necessary to ensure that clots that could be in the veins are destroyed. The side effects were not severe. I started feeling better, felt more energy, no more pain, no more anxiety.
Recently, I was diagnosed with vein thrombosis. Went to the vascular surgeon, and he prescribed me Eliquis. The effect of the treatment exceeded all expectations. I made one conclusion for myself: You need to take measures immediately if you want to stay healthy
Eliquis is a great drug. I like that it can be taken regardless of food intake. It is very comfortable. One pill a day. This is the only drug that helped to remove the plaque from my vein without surgery.