My Drug Center

What Pain Reliever Can I Take with Eliquis?

Wednesday 8 May 2024
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Understanding Eliquis

II. Eliquis and Drug Interactions

III. What Pain Reliever Can I Take with Eliquis?

IV. Final Recap

What pain reliever can I take with Eliquis? If you’re dealing with pain of any kind while taking Eliquis, it’s a question you’ve likely already asked.

Eliquis is a critical medication that reduces the risk of life-threatening conditions such as blood clots and stroke. Knowing the drug interactions Eliquis has with various pain relievers—and which ones are safe to take along with Eliquis—is crucial to ensuring its efficacy and that you don’t compromise your health.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Eliquis is a direct oral anticoagulant favored for its high efficacy and because it does not require frequent blood testing with traditional alternatives like warfarin.
  • Eliquis has several known adverse drug interactions, including with other DOACS, some NSAIDs, certain supplements, herbal products, and antifungals.
  • Acetaminophen is generally considered the safest pain reliever to take with Eliquis.
  • It’s critical to always consult with your healthcare provider about which medications are safest for you based on your unique health status and needs.

Understanding Eliquis: Purpose and Mechanism of Action

Eliquis (generic name apixaban) is a widely-used anticoagulant medication. It belongs to the drug class known as direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). It is favored for its ability to effectively thin the blood without the need for routine blood monitoring—a common requirement with older anticoagulants such as warfarin.

The primary Eliquis mechanism of action is to inhibit Factor Xa, an essential component in the blood clotting process. By blocking this factor, Eliquis reduces the ability of blood clots to form, which is crucial in preventing the severe complications associated with clotting disorders.

Eliquis is prescribed for several conditions where the risk of blood clots is elevated. These include atrial fibrillation (AFib), not caused by a heart valve problem, which lowers the risk of stroke by preventing clot formation. It is also used for the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery, reducing the risk of post-surgical blood clots.

Eliquis and Drug Interactions

Eliquis interacts with a number of medications that can alter its effectiveness and raise the risk of adverse effects. Understanding these interactions is critical for anyone prescribed this medication.

First, it’s important to note that combining Eliquis with other anticoagulants, such as warfarin, heparin, or any other DOACs, significantly increases the risk of bleeding. Each of these medications also works to prevent blood clotting, which compounds the effect when taken together.

Similarly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin, as well as antiplatelet medications like clopidogrel, should be used with caution. These drugs also affect blood clotting and can increase bleeding risks when used with Eliquis. These combinations are sometimes necessary, but they should only be used under direct medical supervision.

Certain supplements and herbal products can also interact with Eliquis. For example, St. John’s wort may reduce the effectiveness of Eliquis, increasing the risk of a clot, while supplements like ginkgo biloba and high doses of fish oil might increase bleeding risk.

Finally, some other types of drugs, such as certain antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole), can alter the levels of Eliquis in the blood, either increasing or decreasing its anticoagulant effect. As such, it’s crucial to consult your doctor about all medications and supplements being taken in order to manage your risks, avoid adverse side effects, and maintain the efficacy of Eliquis.

What Pain Reliever Can I Take with Eliquis?

Choosing a pain reliever that’s safe to take with Eliquis is crucial to both maximize the effectiveness of your medication regimen and avoid serious risks that come with the aforementioned drug interactions. Here are specific pain relievers that can be considered, along with their respective benefits and risks:

1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Acetaminophen is generally considered the safest option for pain relief when taking Eliquis. Unlike NSAIDs, acetaminophen does not increase the risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It is effective for mild to moderate pain and can be used for headaches, muscle aches, and fever reduction.

However, it is important to adhere to the recommended dosages to avoid liver damage, especially in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions or those consuming substantial amounts of alcohol.

2. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), are commonly used for pain relief but, as mentioned, should be used with caution by patients taking Eliquis due to their potential to increase bleeding risks. If NSAIDs are necessary, they should only be used on a short-term basis and under close medical supervision. Patients should be monitored for any signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, and the lowest effective dose should be used.

3. COX-2 Inhibitors

While still a class of NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors like celecoxib (Celebrex) pose a lower risk of GI bleeding because they do not inhibit the COX-1 enzyme, which protects the stomach lining and supports platelet function crucial for blood clotting. Still, the risk isn’t completely eliminated, especially in cases of high dosage or prolonged use, so they should be used under medical advice and with careful monitoring.

4. Tramadol

Tramadol is a mild opioid that can be used as an alternative to NSAIDs for pain management in patients with Eliquis. It has a lower risk of causing stomach bleeding compared to NSAIDs and is useful for moderate to severe pain. Nonetheless, tramadol should be used cautiously because it can cause nausea, dizziness, and dependency.

No matter which pain reliever you choose to take with Eliquis, consulting with a healthcare provider before starting is essential. They can provide personalized advice based on your overall health, pain severity, and specific risk factors. Monitoring by a healthcare professional also ensures that the combination of Eliquis with any pain reliever is managed safely and rationally.

Final Recap

Combining pain relievers with Eliquis requires careful consideration to ensure safety. Acetaminophen is generally the safest option, whereas NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors should be used cautiously due to their potential to increase bleeding risks.

Consulting a healthcare provider is essential before starting or changing any medication, particularly for those managing conditions with Eliquis. Being informed and proactive about your health choices, including how to manage pain safely while on blood thinners, is crucial in maintaining overall well-being, preventing complications, and ensuring your long-term health.

My Drug Center can help you save on your next Eliquis prescription. Learn more here.

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.