What is Apixaban?
Apixaban is a medication that lowers the risk of stroke caused by blood clots in patients with a heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation. Doctors also prescribe this medication for the prevention of blood clots after hip or knee replacement surgery.
This medication also treats a type of blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that creates in the lungs(pulmonary embolism).
This medication is available in the form of a tablet that you can take by your mouth with or without food two times per day.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medication; before stopping taking Apixaban, please consult with the doctor who prescribes this to you. Suddenly stopping taking this medication may lead you to severe health problems and also increase the risk of creating blood clots in your body.
Patients suffering from any spinal or epidural problems may nearly bleed around the spine when using this medication. Talk with your therapist if you have any issues related to the spinal or if you ever had spinal surgery.
Call your therapist if you have symptoms of bleeding like;
- feeling very weak or dizzy
- bleeding gums
- heavy menstrual periods or abnormal vaginal bleeding
- blood in your urine
- bloody or tarry stools
- any bleeding that will not stop
- vomit or coughing up blood that looks like coffee grounds
Apixaban can cause various severe blood clot around your spinal cord;
- if you have a genetic spinal defect
- if you experience a spinal tap or get spinal anesthesia (epidural)
- if you are also taking drugs that can influence blood clotting
- if you have a record of spinal surgery or repeated spinal taps
This type of blood clot can start long-term or permanent paralysis.
Seek medical attention if you feel any symptoms of a spinal cord blood clot like;
- back pain
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- muscle weakness or numbness in your lower body
Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine until your doctor suggests you to so this. If you suddenly stop taking this medicine, you may increase the risk of stroke or blood clots.
You must know that this medication can interact with some other drugs, so do not mix it with other medicines. If you are taking prescription drugs for other symptoms or diseases, talk to your therapist and tell them about your current prescription.
What to know before taking Apixaban?
Tell your physician and pharmacist if you are allergic to Apixaban, any other prescriptions, or any apixaban tablets’ elements. Ask your druggist or review the Medication Guide for a list of the components.
Tell your physician and pharmacist what other medicine and non-prescription medicines, supplements, and vitamins you are taking. Be sure to consider any of the following:
- carbamazepine (Epitol, Equetro, Carbatrol, Tegretol, Trail)
- itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox);
- clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac)
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifadin, in Rifater);
- ketoconazole (Nizoral);
- phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluvoxamine (Luvox), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra, in Symbyax), citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft)
- ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra)
- serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Fetzima, Savella), venlafaxine (Effexor), and desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq).
Your doctor may need to adjust your prescriptions’ doses or monitor you, particularly for side effects. Many other medicines may associate with Apixaban, so be careful to tell your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, also those that do not seem on the list.
Talk to your therapist about what herbal products you are currently taking.
You should know that this medication can interact with certain other medicines used to treat a stroke or other medical emergency. In case of urgency, you or a family member should call the doctor or emergency staff who treat you that you are taking Apixaban.
Consult your therapist if you have an artificial heart valve or heavy bleeding in any part of your body, and this bleeding is not continuous without stopping. In this situation, your doctor may suggest you to stop taking Apixaban.
If you need any surgery or are suffering from any dental problems, please tell your surgeon or dentist that you are currently under Apixaban therapy. They may suggest you to stop taking Apixaban for some time. Follow all the directions that they recommend you to do.
Talk to your therapist if you have liver or kidney disease or any bleeding problems, especially antiphospholipid syndrome.
How to take Apixaban?
Follow all the prescription label directions and read all your medication guides’ indications that come with your prescription medicine. Your doctor has the authority to change your dosage at any time, so please use this medication exactly as your doctor suggests you to take.
Take this medication with or without food. Your doctor will tell you what will be best for you according to your medical condition.
If you cannot swallow the whole tablet, you can crush it and mix it with apple juice or water. Take the mixture immediately without chewing. Do not save the medication for later use.
You can take the crushed medication with the nasogastric feeding tube. Carefully read and follow all the indications for the use of your medication. If you have any query regarding this medication’s use or dosage, please talk to your therapist immediately and clear all your doubts about this medicine’s administration.
Apixaban can cause bleeding, even in minor injuries. Immediately seek a medical emergency if you have bleeding that is not stopping.
Usual Adult dosage of Apixaban for deep vein thrombosis-prophylaxis
The usual dosage is 2.5mg, orally two times a day.
Usual Adult Dosage of this medication for Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Hip Replacement Surgery
The usual dosage is 2.5mg orally two times a day.
Usual Adult Dosage of this medication for Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Knee Replacement Surgery
The usual dosage is 2.5mg orally two times a day.
Usual Adult Dosage of this medicine for Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis
The usual dosage of this medicine is 5mg, orally two times every day.
Immediately seek a medical emergency if you take this medicine in excess.
What to avoid while using Apixaban?
Do not do any activity that increases the risk of bleeding. When you brush your teeth or shave, use extra care to stop bleeding.
Apixaban side effects
Apixaban causes some side-effects, some of them are severe, and some are common. If you feel any one or more symptoms are given below, then immediately talk to your therapist.
- bleeding gums
- heavy vaginal bleeding
- red, pink, or brown urine
- red or black, tarry stools
- swelling or joint pain
- coughing up or vomiting blood or stuff that looks like coffee grounds
- chest pain or tightness
- swelling of the face or tongue
- trouble breathing
- feeling dizzy or faint
What drugs can interact with Apixaban?
Taking some medication with Apixaban may not be safe.
Consult with your doctor if you are taking any medication already. Tell your therapist about every medication that you are using currently. Keep in mind that vitamins and herbal products can also interact with Apixaban, so you must tell your doctor about any herbal products or vitamins if you are taking any.
Some medicines can increase the risk of blood clots or bleed around the spinal cord or brain. So be careful if you are taking these types of medications. You can take these types of medicines with Apixaban only when your doctor suggests you to take it.