When it comes to healthcare, accurate and informative content plays a crucial role in empowering individuals to make well-informed decisions about their health. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of Eliquis, an anticoagulant medication widely prescribed to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. From understanding its mechanism of action to potential side effects and recommended dosage, this article aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of Eliquis.
What is Eliquis?
Eliquis, also known by its generic name apixaban, belongs to a class of medications called direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). It is primarily prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder) and to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
How to Take Eliquis
Follow your doctor’s prescription instructions precisely for taking Eliquis. Read all the information provided in the medication guides or instruction sheets, and adhere to the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally adjust your dosage.
You can take Eliquis with or without food. If you have difficulty swallowing a tablet whole, you can crush it and mix it with water, apple juice, or applesauce. Consume the mixture promptly without chewing.
A crushed tablet mixture can also be administered through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Make sure to carefully read and follow any Instructions for Use that accompany your medication.
Eliquis may increase your tendency to bleed, even from minor injuries. Seek medical attention if you experience bleeding that doesn’t cease.
Inform your doctor if you have scheduled surgery or dental work. You may need to temporarily discontinue Eliquis. Only discontinue Eliquis if instructed to do so by your doctor.
If you stop taking Eliquis for any reason, your doctor may prescribe an alternative medication to prevent blood clots.
Eliquis Side Effects
If you experience signs of an allergic reaction to Eliquis, such as hives, chest pain, wheezing, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek emergency medical help immediately.
Additionally, if you notice symptoms of a spinal blood clot, including tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness (particularly in the legs and feet), it is important to seek emergency medical attention.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
- Easy bruising, unusual bleeding from the nose, mouth, vagina, rectum, or bleeding from wounds or injections that doesn’t stop.
- Excessive menstrual bleeding.
- Headache, dizziness, weakness, or a feeling of fainting.
- Red, pink, or brown-colored urine.
- Black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, or vomiting that resembles coffee grounds.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of side effects, and others may occur. If you have any concerns or experience any other symptoms, contact your doctor for medical advice.
Warnings For Eliquis
Eliquis raises the chances of severe or life-threatening bleeding, especially if you are also taking certain medications, including some over-the-counter drugs. It’s crucial to inform your doctor about all the medicines you have used recently.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any signs of bleeding, such as swelling, pain, extreme weakness or dizziness, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, heavy menstrual periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, blood in your urine, dark or bloody stools, coughing up blood, vomiting that resembles coffee grounds, or any bleeding that won’t stop.
Before undergoing surgery, an invasive procedure, or dental work, discontinue Eliquis 24-48 hours in advance. Inform your surgeon if you are currently taking Eliquis.
Eliquis can lead to a severe blood clot near your spinal cord, resulting in long-term or permanent paralysis. This type of clot may occur during a spinal tap or spinal anesthesia (epidural), particularly if you have a genetic spinal defect, are using a spinal catheter, have a history of spinal surgery or repeated spinal taps, or are taking drugs that influence blood clotting.
If you experience symptoms such as back pain, numbness or weakness in your lower body, or loss of control over your bladder or bowel, seek immediate medical assistance, as these could indicate a blood clot around the spinal cord.
Do not discontinue taking Eliquis unless instructed by your doctor, as stopping suddenly can increase the risk of blood clots or stroke.
What if I Miss a Dose?
If you forget to take a dose of ELIQUIS at the scheduled time, take it as soon as you remember on the same day and continue taking it twice daily. Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
What If I Overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
Discontinuation for Surgery and Other Procedures
To prepare for elective surgery or invasive procedures that pose a moderate or high risk of significant bleeding, ELIQUIS should be stopped at least 48 hours in advance. For elective surgery or invasive procedures with a low risk of bleeding, or where any bleeding can be easily controlled and is non-critical in location, ELIQUIS should be discontinued at least 24 hours before.
Transitioning Between ELIQUIS and Other Medications
When switching from warfarin to ELIQUIS, stop taking warfarin and begin ELIQUIS when the international normalized ratio (INR) falls below 2.0.
If switching from ELIQUIS to warfarin, it’s important to note that ELIQUIS affects INR measurements. Therefore, during coadministration with warfarin, INR readings may not provide accurate guidance for determining the appropriate warfarin dosage. If continuous anticoagulation is required, ELIQUIS should be discontinued, and both a parenteral anticoagulant and warfarin should be initiated at the time the next ELIQUIS dose would have been taken. The parenteral anticoagulant can be discontinued once the INR reaches an acceptable range.
For transitioning between ELIQUIS and other anticoagulants (excluding warfarin), discontinue the current medication and start the new one at the next scheduled dose.
In conclusion, Eliquis, also known as apixaban, is a widely prescribed medication used to reduce the risk of stroke, prevent deep vein thrombosis, and treat pulmonary embolism. By inhibiting factor Xa, Eliquis helps prevent the formation of blood clots. However, it is essential to use Eliquis as prescribed by a healthcare professional and be aware of possible side effects and drug interactions. If you have any concerns or questions about Eliquis, consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.
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