Eliquis (Apixaban) is a new generation of oral anticoagulant medicine used to prevent serious blood clots from forming due to atrial fibrillation, a certain irregular heartbeat, or after hip/knee replacement surgery. Manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company of Princeton, N.J. and marketed by BMS and Pfizer Inc. of New York, Eliquis belongs to the class of direct factor Xa inhibitors. It acts by inhibiting Factor Xa, a key blood-clotting protein that decreases the level of thrombin, Eliquis indirectly decreases clot formation. It's the most effective drug in its class at preventing strokes while minimizing bleeding that is common with similar anticoagulants.
Eliquis was approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration FDA on December 28, 2012, for the prevention of stroke, Blood Clots in Patients with Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation. As per the press release, the FDA said, patients with prosthetic heart valves should not take Eliquis nor should patients with atrial fibrillation that is caused by a heart valve problem as these patients were not studied in the clinical trial. The FDA said, bleeding, including life-threatening and fatal bleeding, is the most serious risk with Eliquis, and currently, no agent can reverse the anticoagulant effect of Eliquis.
As per the FDA guidelines, Eliquis will be dispensed with a patient Medication Guide that provides instructions on its use and drug safety information. Health care professionals were advised by the FDA to counsel patients on signs and symptoms of possible bleeding.
Atrial fibrillation is a condition that arises when part of the heart does not beat the way it should, which can lead to blood clots forming that can travel to other parts of the body such as the lungs or legs, or increase your risk for stroke. Apixaban is also approved to treat certain types of blood clots like deep vein thrombosis-DVT, pulmonary embolus-PE in the United States, and to prevent them from forming again.
Eliquis is taken by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily (every 12 hours). If you cannot swallow the tablet whole, you may crush the tablet and mix with water, apple juice, or applesauce and take it right away.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, weight, kidney function, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). If you are taking apixaban to prevent blood clots from forming after surgery, the length of treatment is based on the type of surgery that you had.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Do not run out of this medication. Order your refills early to avoid running out of pills.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Before taking Eliquis, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, bleeding problems (such as bleeding of the stomach/intestines, bleeding in the brain), blood disorders (such as anemia, hemophilia, thrombocytopenia), recent major injury/surgery, stroke, a certain clotting disorder (antiphospholipid syndrome), frequent falls/injuries.
Eliquis is used for
Reduction of Risk of Stroke and Systemic Embolism in Non-valvular Atrial Fibrillation
Prophylaxis of Deep Vein Thrombosis Following Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery
Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism
Reduction in the Risk of Recurrence of DVT and PE
In June 2014, a patient started on Eliquis, died of gastrointestinal bleeding from complications within two months. It was observed that Eliquis can increase the risk of uncontrollable bleeding, and is more prone when taken at the same time with Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Eliquis does not have an antidote to stop the bleeding complications.