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How does Eliquis function?

Thursday 28 April 2022
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Eliquis and Anticoagulants

II. How does Eliquis work?

III. What is Eliquis used for?

IV. Is Eliquis effective?

Many people prefer to use newer anticoagulants like Eliquis because it has fewer side effects than traditional blood thinners like warfarin. An Eliquis dosage is useful for many conditions, but how does it function in the body? Read on to learn more.

Eliquis and Anticoagulants

Eliquis is an anticoagulant, meaning that it slows down clotting. This differs from another type of blood thinner called antiplatelets. Antiplatelets prevent blood platelets from clumping together, preventing clots from growing in the bloodstream.

a person getting check up from doctor

Your doctor will determine which type of medication is right for you. Anticoagulants improve blood flow and keep existing clots from growing larger. Aspirin is one of the most common over-the-counter anticoagulants. If you take pain medicine, sleeping pills, antibiotics, or vitamins, tell your doctor before taking Eliquis. [1] Anticoagulants may not be for you if any of the following apply:

  • You have abnormally heavy periods
  • Your gums frequently bleed
  • You think you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant

How does Eliquis work?

Blood platelets rush to the injury site when the body experiences an external or internal injury. Platelets will plug up the injury to prevent excessive bleeding in a process known as coagulation. When the blood coagulates, it leaves a natural band-aid over an injury so it can begin healing.

Coagulation is typically a good thing, but platelets can form together and create inappropriate clots in some cases. The body may trigger the clotting process when cholesterol plaques accumulate and break open arteries. When an artery breaks, heart attacks and strokes can occur. Blood clots can also occur if platelets stick together when the blood is not flowing properly. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism can occur, and that’s where Eliquis comes in.

Eliquis 5 mg functions by attaching to a clotting factor made by the liver called factor Xa. When you consume Eliquis, apixaban prevents factor Xa from functioning, making the blood clot less effective. When blood clots do not form, blood flows smoothly through the bloodstream, and dangerous clotting events are less likely to occur. [2]

animation of blood cells

What is Eliquis used for?

Eliquis is approved to treat several conditions that can cause dangerous blood clots. Blood clots can cause serious injury and death, so your doctor may prescribe Eliquis if you have a history of blood clots or have had surgery that increases the risk of clots.

Eliquis for AFib: Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of irregular heartbeat and comes with an increased risk of clots. These clots can travel in the bloodstream and block blood vessels in the kidneys or intestines. When you take Eliquis, it reduces the risk of blood clots occurring in the body.

Eliquis for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) & pulmonary embolism (PE): DVTs are blood clots in the body's deep veins, most typically in the legs. Pulmonary embolism involves clots in the lungs, which can prevent regular breathing. Eliquis works to prevent any clots in the deep veins or the lungs from growing larger. Eliquis can also break down existing clots.

Eliquis after surgery: Your doctor may prescribe Eliquis if you recently experienced a hip or knee replacement. When you have major surgery on a joint, the blood vessels around the joint can become damaged, increasing the risk of blood clots. You may receive a short-term prescription of Eliquis directly after your surgery. [3]

two surgeons working on a patient

Is Eliquis effective?

Many blood thinners are available, so it is natural to wonder if Eliquis is as effective as other popular anticoagulants. In one study published in the American College of Physicians, researchers compared the effectiveness of Eliquis and Xarelto in atrial fibrillation patients.

Researchers observed 39,351 patients newly prescribed apixaban in the study and 39,351 patients taking Xarelto. These patients were studied for 291 days. After the study was complete, researchers found that adults on Eliquis had a lower gastrointestinal bleeding rate than those taking Xarelto. Overall, atrial fibrillation patients taking Eliquis had a lower rate of ischemic stroke and blood clots than those taking Xarelto. [4]

If you want to save money on your Eliquis prescription, you can purchase discount Eliquis and Eliquis generic through an online Canadian pharmacy like MyDrugCenter. 

DISCLAIMER: The information in the article is not meant to be used for treatment or diagnosis. It is designed for general awareness and for information purposes only. Always consult a medical professional for your specific healthcare needs.