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About Apixaban

Apixaban, sold under the tradename Eliquis, is an anticoagulant for the treatment of venous thromboembolic events. It is taken by mouth. It is a direct factor Xa inhibitor.

Apixaban was approved in Europe in 2012.[1] It was approved in the U.S. in 2014 for treatment and secondary prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).[2] It was developed in a joint venture by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.


Apixaban is indicated for the following:[5]

  • To lower the risk of stroke and embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis. DVTs may lead to pulmonary embolism (PE) in knee or hip replacement surgery patients.
  • Treatment of both DVT and PE.
  • To reduce the risk of recurring DVT and PE after initial therapy.

Who can and can't take apixaban

  • Apixaban can be taken by adults aged 18 and over.
  • Apixaban isn't suitable for some people. Tell your doctor if you:
  • have had an allergic reaction to apixaban or any other medicines in the past
  • are trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant - apixaban can be harmful to your baby
  • have liver problems
  • have had a recent spinal injury or surgery
  • are taking any other medicines that affect blood clotting, such as warfarin
  • have any injuries that are currently bleeding a lot (such as a wound or a stomach ulcer)
  • are taking the herbal remedy St John's wort (often taken for


This medication can cause bleeding. To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use great caution with sharp objects like safety razors and nail cutters. Use an electric razor when shaving and a soft toothbrush when brushing your teeth. Avoid activities such as contact sports. If you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head, contact your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to check you for hidden bleeding that could be serious.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Side Effects

  • Easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding or bleeding that won't stop, including nosebleeds and bleeding gums
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Pink, brown, or red urine
  • Black or bloody stools
  • Coughing up blood, or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Trouble breathing or wheezing
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness or feeling like you might pass out
  • Severe weakness
  • Rash
  • Swelling or joint pain
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Signs of anaphylaxis, which may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat


There is no antidote to ELIQUIS. Overdose of ELIQUIS increases the risk of bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

In controlled clinical trials, orally administered apixaban in healthy subjects at doses up to 50 mg daily for 3 to 7 days (25 mg twice daily for 7 days or 50 mg once daily for 3 days) had no clinically relevant adverse effects.

In healthy subjects, administration of activated charcoal 2 and 6 hours after ingestion of a 20-mg dose of apixaban reduced mean apixaban AUC by 50% and 27%, respectively. Thus, administration of activated charcoal may be useful in the management of apixaban overdose or accidental ingestion.

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