Apixaban is an anticoagulant medication used to prevent strokes or blood clots in individuals with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery.
Apixaban is also used to treat existing cases of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism and may be continued for the prevention of future occurrences. Apixaban belongs to the class of medications known as factor Xa inhibitors and functions by blocking the action of a natural substance that promotes the formation of blood clots.
Uses and Dosage
Apixaban is an oral tablet taken with or without food, twice daily. To prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) after hip or knee replacement surgery, the first dose should be administered within 12 to 24 hours after the procedure, and continue for 35 days after a hip replacement and 12 days after a knee replacement.
Take apixaban at the same time each day and follow the instructions indicated on the prescription label precisely. In case of any unclear instructions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid taking more or less of the medication or taking it more frequently than prescribed by your physician.
In instances where swallowing the tablet is not possible, it can be crushed and mixed with water, apple juice, or applesauce, then consumed immediately. Apixaban can also be administered through certain types of feeding tubes upon the recommendation of a doctor.
Continue taking apixaban even if you feel well, and do not discontinue the medication without speaking to your doctor as it may increase the risk of a blood clot.
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- bleeding gums
- heavy vaginal bleeding
- red, pink, or brown urine
- red or black, tarry stools
- coughing up or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- swelling or joint pain
- chest pain or tightness
- swelling of the face or tongue
- trouble breathing
- feeling dizzy or faint
Apixaban poses a significant risk for severe or potentially fatal bleeding, especially when taken concurrently with other medications, including some over-the-counter drugs. Inform your physician of any medications you have recently taken.
In the case of any signs of bleeding, such as swelling, pain, dizziness, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, heavy menstrual bleeding, blood in urine, bloody or tar-like stools, coughing up blood or vomit resembling coffee grounds, or any bleeding that does not cease, seek immediate medical attention.
Apixaban may cause a serious blood clot around the spinal cord that could result in long-term or permanent paralysis. This type of blood clot is particularly prevalent during spinal tap procedures or spinal anesthesia (epidural), and is more likely if you have a spinal defect, use a spinal catheter, have a history of spinal surgery or frequent spinal taps, or if you are also using other drugs that could affect blood clotting.
If you experience symptoms of a spinal cord blood clot, such as back pain, numbness, muscle weakness in the lower body, or loss of bladder or bowel control, seek emergency medical help.
Do not discontinue use of apixaban unless instructed by a physician. Sudden cessation of the drug could increase the risk of blood clots or stroke.
Form and Strength
Eliquis is available in the following forms and strengths:
Can you be on apixaban for life?
Depending on what caused the blood clot, you might need to take it for longer. If you have a heart problem like atrial fibrillation, you might need to take apixaban long term or even for the rest of your life.
Can you exercise on apixaban?
Running, walking, stationary biking are safe to enjoy.