My Drug Center

Side Effects of Eliquis

Wednesday 27 April 2022
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Common Eliquis Side Effects

II. Serious Eliquis Side Effects

III. Foods to Avoid While on Eliquis

IV. Eliquis and Alcohol

V. Eliquis Reversal Agent

Common Eliquis Side Effects

Eliquis is used in many treatment plans to prevent blood clots and associated conditions in patients with atrial fibrillation. The FDA approves this brand-name drug to treat deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other blood clot-related complications. This blood thinner contains apixaban, a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) that prevents certain clotting factors in the body from working. By inhibiting the body’s clotting factors, the right Eliquis dosage significantly reduces the risk of a clotting event.

Apixaban is a popular anticoagulant because it has a quick onset time. Eliquis begins preventing the body’s natural clotting process within three to four hours of dosing. With regular use, Eliquis also helps prevent recurring DVT and PE. But these benefits come with the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects to lower your risk.

a person dressing another person

Patients taking Eliquis commonly experience easy bruising, nausea, and a low red blood cell count (anemia). While these common side effects of apixaban are generally not serious, it is important to monitor your condition in case any side effect worsens. Talk to your doctor if any bruises or feelings of nausea persist. Side effects of Eliquis can progress in severity and potentially become life-threatening, so it is always better to exercise caution and maintain communication with your doctor.

Serious Eliquis Side Effects

Because apixaban prevents the body from clotting the blood, this anticoagulant significantly increases the risk of excessive bleeding. [1] When Eliquis makes it more difficult for your body to form clots, even small cuts and injuries may bleed more than normal. Common signs of excessive bleeding include bleeding gums, heavy menstrual periods, and frequent nosebleeds. Blood in the stool may indicate internal bleeding. Because of this bleeding risk, your doctor will likely recommend that you take extra care when engaging in certain activities. You should be cautious when playing contact sports, operating heavy machinery, or handling sharp objects.

a couple cutting food in the kitchen

A blood clot may develop in the spine if the patient has recently undergone a spinal procedure such as a lumbar puncture or epidural. Signs of a spinal blood clot may include back pain, muscle weakness, loss of bladder control, and tingling or numbness. Generally, doctors advise against taking Eliquis blood thinner with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other blood thinners because it is important to avoid drug interactions to reduce serious side effects. 

Foods to Avoid While on Eliquis

In addition to drug interactions, certain foods may increase your risk of side effects while taking apixaban. One of the most dangerous foods to consume while on Eliquis is grapefruit. Grapefruit is a strong inhibitor of the CYP3A4 enzyme found in the liver. This enzyme plays a crucial role in metabolizing apixaban. When it is inhibited, high concentrations of apixaban can accumulate in the bloodstream and cause severe side effects. [2]

Eliquis and Alcohol

Does Eliquis interact with alcohol? No, it does not. However, heavy drinking while taking any blood thinner may not be a good idea. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of accidents, and blood thinners increase your risk of bleeding. Together, these two risk factors make dangerous bleeding events more likely. The safer route is cutting out alcohol altogether. Talk to your doctor about safe alcohol consumption if you want to drink while taking Eliquis.

three women with glasses of wine

Eliquis Reversal Agent

There are some risks associated with taking Eliquis. As mentioned above, the main risk involves excessive bleeding when Eliquis inhibits the body’s clotting factors. Compared to other blood thinners, Eliquis may still be preferable since this drug has an available reversal agent. This agent counteracts the effects of apixaban and restores the body’s clotting ability. In the event of uncontrolled bleeding, your doctor may use a reversal agent to stop bleeding quickly.

Being aware of the risks can help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a blood thinner. Our Eliquis blog can help you learn more about this blood thinner. In a study comparing the safety and efficacy of Eliquis with other anticoagulants, researchers found that Eliquis is more effective at lowering the rate of stroke and embolism in adults with AFib. [3] Once you have decided on a blood thinner, a Canadian pharmacy like MyDrugCenter can give you access to affordable Eliquis from Canada. Although Eliquis is a popular choice, your doctor will ultimately decide the best anticoagulant for you.

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.