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Eliquis is the brand-name version of apixaban, a prescription medication used to treat and prevent blood clots. Apixaban is part of a drug class called factor Xa inhibitors. Factor Xa is a substance in the body that plays a role in forming blood clots. By stopping this substance, apixaban effectively prevents dangerous blood clots from occurring.
Eliquis is part of a newer generation of blood thinners called direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC). Newer anticoagulants provide improved safety, fewer interactions, and enhanced efficacy. Apixaban is FDA-approved to treat first-time and recurrent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Eliquis is also approved to lower the risk of a blood clot-related stroke in atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients.
A DVT or a PE can become life-threatening if not treated promptly. Breaking up the clot with Eliquis can significantly reduce the risk of a fatal outcome. A deep vein thrombosis refers to a blood clot that develops in a deep vein, typically in the legs. A DVT is a serious condition because a clot in the arms or legs can dislodge and travel to the lungs. A blood clot that lodges in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism. A PE can lead to a life-threatening blockage of blood flow. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a rapid heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, get medical assistance right away.
Surgical procedures, particularly a knee or hip replacement, can significantly raise your risk of a blood clot. You will likely be temporarily bedbound post-surgery, which can increase your risk as well. In addition to treating and preventing recurrent DVT and PE, Eliquis can be used to lower the risk of blood clots in patients fresh out of surgery.
Patients with atrial fibrillation (a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat) have an increased risk of blood clots that form in the heart, kidneys, intestines, or brain. Patients with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem may be prescribed Eliquis to reduce the risk of stroke.
After having a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, you are more likely to have another blood clot. Because Eliquis increases the risk of excessive bleeding, it is not often prescribed for longer terms. However, one study showed that extending treatment with Eliquis has substantial benefits for preventing recurring blood clot events.
Generic Eliquis is called apixaban. Although apixaban has been approved in the United States, it is not available for purchase yet. This is because the creators of Eliquis were granted an extension on their patent, which prevents competition from generic versions at least until 2026. The good news is that generic apixaban is available through an online Canadian pharmacy like Canadian Med Center now.
Generic apixaban is an exact copy of brand-name Eliquis. The two versions may look different due to packaging regulations, but they use the same active ingredient, so you can rely on the same level of effectiveness and safety. Generic drug manufacturers can sell their version at a lower price because they did not have to invest in the drug’s development. For Eliquis, this means that generic apixaban is considerably more affordable than its brand-name version, helping you save even more.
Eliquis should not be taken with other blood thinners such as Xarelto, Pradaxa, or warfarin. Apixaban is also known to cause complications when taken with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam. Several antidepressants can increase your bleeding risk when combined with Eliquis. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like citalopram and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like duloxetine. Ask your doctor if any medications you take will interact with Eliquis before you start treatment. Your doctor can also provide you with a complete list of apixaban interactions.
Apixaban prevents you from forming clots, meaning it increases your risk of excessive bleeding. When Eliquis is in your system, you may bruise easily and experience nausea and a low red blood cell count (anemia). Excessive bleeding is a severe side effect because it can occur internally and be hard to detect. When you take apixaban, physical trauma can cause internal bleeding in the stomach, lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain.
Internal bleeding can also cause a complication called a hematoma. A hematoma is characterized by swelling due to blood buildup from internal bleeding. If you feel dizzy, extra tired, or experience heavy bleeding, call your doctor without delay. Coughing up blood, severe headaches, and blood in the urine or stool may be a sign of internal bleeding, which requires prompt medical attention to prevent complications. Talk to your physician for a complete list of the side effects of apixaban.
Eliquis is available at the Canadian Med Center in 2.5 mg and 5 mg tablets. For DVT and PE, the recommended dosage is two 5 mg tablets, twice a day, for the first week. Then, your doctor will likely switch you to 5 mg, twice a day, for the remainder of your treatment period. To prevent DVT and PE from occurring again, the usual recommended dosage is 2.5 mg, twice a day until your risk of blood clots lowers.
If you are coming out of a hip replacement surgery, the usual dosage is 2.5 mg, twice a day, for 35 days. Knee replacements are usually followed with the same dosage strength but for a shorter period of 12 days. For blood clot prevention in AFib patients, the typical prescription is 5 mg, twice a day. The exception is if the patient is over 80 years old, lighter than 132 lbs, or has kidney problems, which requires a lower dose of 2.5 mg twice daily.
Alcohol does not directly affect Eliquis’ efficacy. However, apixaban increases your bleeding risk, so heavy drinking may not be safe while on Eliquis because alcohol may impair your coordination and increase the risk of accidents.
You should stop Eliquis at least 48 hours before surgery or an invasive procedure that increases your risk of bleeding. Always follow your doctor’s directions on when you should stop apixaban in order to avoid complications during the procedure.
In most patients, Eliquis has a half-life of 8 to 12 hours. This means that apixaban stays in your system between 2 to 3 days after dosing. However, the benefits of Eliquis begin to wear off after 24 hours of dosing, which is why it is important to take your prescription as directed.
Eliquis begins working immediately, and patients can expect protection against blood clots within the first few hours after a dose. By taking your twice-daily dose as prescribed, you can ensure there is always enough apixaban in your system to prevent blood clots.
Apixaban 5 mg can be used to treat DVT and PE, as well as prevent blood clot-related stroke incidences in patients with atrial fibrillation. For these conditions, apixaban 5 mg is typically taken twice a day until your risk of blood clots diminishes.
Eliquis is expensive at your local pharmacy because a generic version is not available yet in the U.S. To save money by buying generic apixaban, use a trusted online pharmacy like Canadian Med Center.