Eliquis (apixaban)

Medically Reviewed By Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA

This drug has boxed warnings, the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of blood clots if Eliquis is stopped early. Stopping Eliquis too soon without your doctor’s recommendation can lead to blood clots. Depending on where the blood clot occurs, it could cause swelling, pain, or trouble breathing. If the clot travels to your brain, it can lead to a stroke. If your doctor says it’s safe to stop taking Eliquis, they may prescribe you another medication for your condition.

Risk of blood clots around the spine with certain procedures. For certain procedures, you may receive an injection into the epidural space (the area around the spinal cord) or spine. Having this type of injection while taking Eliquis increases the risk of blood clots forming near the spine or brain. In turn, this could lead to serious complications, including paralysis.

If you need to receive an epidural or spinal injection while taking Eliquis, your doctor will watch for blood clots in your spine or brain. Tell your doctor right away if you have any numbness, pain, tingling, or muscle weakness in your back, feet, or legs. Also, tell them if you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder. These could be signs of a spine or brain blood clot.


To learn more, see the “ Eliquis: Side effects” section below.

About Eliquis

Eliquis is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help prevent and treat blood clots in adults.

Specifically, doctors prescribe Eliquis to:

  • Help prevent blood clots and stroke in people with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (Afib). Afib is a type of abnormal heart rhythm. “Nonvalvular” means the Afib isn’t caused by problems with a heart valve. Eliquis helps prevent blood clots and stroke that can happen with this type of Afib.
  • Treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the thigh or lower leg. PE is a blood clot in the lungs. Eliquis can treat DVT or PE after they’ve already occurred.
  • Help prevent DVT and PE after treatment. DVT and PE may come back after they’ve already been treated. Eliquis helps prevent these clots from coming back after treatment.
  • Help prevent DVT and PE in people having a hip or knee replacement. Having hip or knee replacement surgery can increase your risk of blood clots. Eliquis helps prevent clots from forming after these surgeries.

For details about these conditions and how the drug treats them, see the “Eliquis: Uses” section below.

Key points

The following table provides key facts about Eliquis.

Active drug apixaban
Drug class direct-acting oral anticoagulant, which is sometimes called a blood thinner
Form oral tablet

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking this drug, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

Eliquis: Generic

Eliquis is a brand-name medication. It contains the active drug apixaban, which also comes in a generic form. A generic is an identical copy of the active drug found in a brand-name medication.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that generic drugs are as safe and effective as their original drug. Generics tend to be less expensive than brand-name drugs.

If you’d like to know about using the generic version of Eliquis, ask your doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you if the generic medication comes in forms and strengths recommended for your condition.

Eliquis: Side effects

As with most drugs, it’s possible to have side effects with Eliquis. These can include some mild side effects but also some serious ones.

To learn more about Eliquis’s side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may also provide information about managing certain side effects of this drug.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Eliquis, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild and serious side effects

Mild and serious side effects of Eliquis are listed in the table below. This table does not include all of Eliquis’s possible side effects.

Mild side effects* Serious side effects
anemia (low level of red blood cells) bleeding, such as nosebleeds
bruising allergic reaction
nausea • risk of blood clots if Eliquis is stopped early‡
  • risk of blood clots around the spine with certain procedures‡

* This is not a complete list of Eliquis’s mild side effects. To learn about other mild side effects of this drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Or you can view the drug’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Eliquis’s side effects explained” below.
Eliquis has a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “Eliquis’s side effects explained” section below.

Most times, mild side effects of a drug go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if any side effects become severe or don’t go away.

Serious side effects from Eliquis aren’t common, but they are possible. If you have serious side effects, call your doctor right away. However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Eliquis’s side effects explained

Below, you can find detailed information about some of Eliquis’s side effects. To learn more about other side effects of this medication, talk with your doctor.  

Risk of blood clots if Eliquis is stopped early

Stopping Eliquis too soon without your doctor’s recommendation can lead to blood clots. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

In some cases, blood clots that happen after Eliquis is stopped early may lead to stroke. Due to this risk, Eliquis has a boxed warning for a risk of blood clots if the drug is stopped early. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Symptoms of blood clots can vary depending on where the blood clot occurs. Blood clots in the leg typically cause warmth, swelling, pain, or skin discoloration in the affected area. Blood clots in the lungs typically cause trouble breathing, chest pain, and coughing up blood.

If the clot travels to your brain, this can lead to a stroke. Symptoms of stroke include severe headache, trouble speaking, and weakness on one side of the body.

What to do

Do not stop taking Eliquis without talking with your doctor first. If your doctor says it’s safe to stop taking Eliquis, they may prescribe you another medication for your condition.

If you have symptoms of a blood clot after stopping Eliquis, talk with your doctor right away. However, if you have symptoms of a stroke, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Risk of blood clots around the spine with certain procedures

Eliquis may increase the risk of blood clots around the spine with certain procedures. In fact, Eliquis has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

For certain procedures, you may receive an injection into the epidural space (the area around the spinal cord) or spine. Having this type of injection while taking Eliquis increases the risk of blood clots forming near the spine or brain. In turn, this could lead to serious complications, including paralysis.

Symptoms of a blood clot around the spine or brain include:

What to do

If you need to receive an epidural or spinal injection while taking Eliquis, your doctor will watch for blood clots in your spine or brain. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of blood clots in these areas.

Bleeding

Bleeding is a common side effect of Eliquis. In rare cases, bleeding with Eliquis can be severe or fatal. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Examples of bleeding that can happen with Eliquis include:

What to do

While you’re taking Eliquis, watch for symptoms of serious bleeding. Examples include bleeding that won’t stop or lasts for a long time.

If you have symptoms of serious bleeding while taking Eliquis, tell your doctor right away. However, if your symptoms seem severe or life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Bleeding with Eliquis can be reversed. For details, see the “Eliquis: Reversing its effect” section below.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Eliquis. A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible.

Allergic reaction was reported in clinical studies of Eliquis, but it wasn’t common.

Possible symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions are listed in the table below.

Mild allergic reaction symptoms Serious allergic reaction symptoms
flushing • swelling under your skin, possibly in your hands, feet, lips, or eyelids
rash • swelling in your throat or mouth
• itching trouble breathing

If you have an allergic reaction to Eliquis, call your doctor right away. This is important to do because the reaction could become severe.

However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Eliquis: Dosage

Below, you’ll find dosages that are commonly recommended for Eliquis. However, you should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your needs.

The dosage of Eliquis that your doctor prescribes will depend on factors such as:

  • your age
  • your body weight
  • any health conditions you have, such as kidney problems
  • the condition you’re using Eliquis to treat and the severity of the condition
  • other medications you’re taking

Eliquis’s forms and strengths

Eliquis is available as follows.

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg) and 5 mg

Eliquis’s recommended dosages

Eliquis is approved for these uses in adults:

Recommended dosages for Eliquis are described below. Most often, doctors will prescribe a twice-daily dose of Eliquis. You likely won’t take Eliquis once each day.  

Dosages depend on the condition being treated. For example, the dosage for people with Afib may be different from the dosage for DVT or PE.

Use Dosage
blood clot prevention with Afib 5 mg twice daily
DVT and PE treatment • starting dosage: 10 mg twice daily for 7 days
• maintenance dosage: 5 mg twice daily
DVT or PE prevention after treatment 2.5 mg twice daily
DVT or PE prevention after hip or knee replacement 2.5 mg twice daily

Your doctor may prescribe a different dosage of Eliquis based on several factors. These may include your age, specifically if you are older, or whether you have renal (kidney) problems. If you have questions about renal dosing for Eliquis or the dosage for older people, talk with your doctor.

Dosage considerations

Below are some things to consider about Eliquis’s dosage.

Missing a dose. If you miss a dose of Eliquis, take it as soon as you remember. Then continue your usual dosage schedule. Do not take two doses to make up for a missed dose. Doing so can increase your risk of side effects with Eliquis. View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.

Length of treatment. Doctors typically prescribe Eliquis for long-term use in the following situations:

  • preventing blood clots and stroke in people with nonvalvular Afib
  • preventing DVT and PE after treatment

You’ll likely take the drug long-term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for these uses.

Doctors typically don’t prescribe Eliquis long term for its other approved uses. Below are the lengths of treatment recommended by the manufacturer of Eliquis. However, be sure to take the drug for the length of time your doctor advises.

Reason for taking Eliquis Length of Eliquis treatment
treatment of DVT and PE at least 6 months
prevention of DVT and PE after hip replacement 35 days
prevention of DVT and PE after knee replacement 12 days

Eliquis: Uses

Prescription drugs, such as Eliquis, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain conditions. Doctors sometimes prescribe drugs off-label for other conditions. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Using Eliquis for preventing blood clots and stroke in people with Afib

The FDA has approved Eliquis to help prevent blood clots and stroke in people with atrial fibrillation (Afib).

With Afib, you have an abnormal heart rhythm. This condition can cause blood to pool in the heart and form a clot. If the clot travels to your brain, it can lead to a stroke.

Some people may not have any symptoms of Afib. However, possible symptoms of this condition include:

Symptoms of stroke can include severe headache, trouble speaking, and weakness on one side of the body.

Doctors prescribe Eliquis to help prevent blood clots and stroke in people with nonvalvular Afib. “Nonvalvular” means the Afib isn’t caused by problems with a heart valve.

Using Eliquis for treating DVT and PE

The FDA has approved Eliquis to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

DVT involves a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the thigh or lower leg. Symptoms include warmth, swelling, pain, or skin discoloration in the affected area.

With DVT, a blood clot can break free from the leg and travel through the body to the lungs. This can lead to a PE, which is a blood clot in the lungs. Symptoms of PE include trouble breathing, chest pain, and coughing up blood.

Doctors prescribe Eliquis to treat DVT or PE after they’ve already occurred.

Using Eliquis for preventing DVT and PE after treatment

The FDA has approved Eliquis to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). (To learn more about DVT and PE, see “Using Eliquis for Treating DVT and PE” above.)

DVT and PE may return after they’ve already been treated. Doctors prescribe Eliquis to help prevent DVT and PE from coming back after treatment.

Using Eliquis for preventing DVT and PE in people having a hip or knee replacement

The FDA has approved Eliquis to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in people having a hip or knee replacement. (To learn more about DVT and PE, see “Using Eliquis for Treating DVT and PE” above.)

Hip or knee replacement surgery can increase your risk of blood clots. This happens for several reasons, including:

  • activation of your body’s blood clotting system after surgery
  • decreased physical activity for several days or weeks after surgery

Doctors prescribe Eliquis to help prevent clots from forming after hip or knee replacement.

Using Eliquis in children

Doctors typically won’t prescribe Eliquis for children. The drug is only approved for use in adults.

Finding a healthcare professional for Eliquis

If you’re interested in taking Eliquis, you can find a doctor who might prescribe it by searching here. You can prepare for your appointment by viewing Healthgrades’s appointment guide for Afibhip replacement, or knee replacement.

Eliquis: Alternatives

Doctors may prescribe drugs other than Eliquis for your condition. Certain drugs may work better for you than others.

Among other uses, Eliquis is used to help prevent blood clots. Here’s a summary of other drugs that doctors sometimes prescribe for preventing blood clots.

To learn more about some alternatives to Eliquis, view the following articles:

To learn more about alternatives to Eliquis, ask your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that could be prescribed for your condition.

Eliquis: Questions you may have

Here are some common questions about Eliquis and brief answers to them. If you’d like to know more about these topics, ask your doctor.

Does Eliquis cause certain side effects in older people?

Not necessarily. In clinical studies, side effects of Eliquis in older people were generally the same as those in younger people.

However, older people may have certain conditions that increase their risk of side effects with Eliquis. An example is kidney problems. For this reason, doctors may prescribe a lower dosage of Eliquis for older people in certain situations.

Will I need to stop Eliquis before having surgery? If so, how long should I hold my doses before surgery?

Most likely.

Having certain surgeries can increase your risk of serious bleeding. And bleeding is a common side effect of Eliquis. So, your risk of serious bleeding with surgery may be even higher while you’re taking the drug.

For this reason, your doctor may have you stop taking Eliquis for a few days before a planned surgery. This lowers your risk of serious bleeding with the surgery.

If you have a planned surgery, talk with your doctor about when to stop taking Eliquis. Be sure you don’t stop taking the drug unless your doctor tells you it’s safe.* Your doctor will tell you when to start taking Eliquis again after surgery.

If you need an emergency surgery while you’re taking Eliquis, you may need to have the effects of the drug reversed beforehand. To learn more, see the “Eliquis: Reversing its effect” section below.

* Eliquis has a boxed warning regarding the risk of blood clots if the drug is stopped early. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “Eliquis: Side effects” section above.

Does Eliquis cause fatigue, tiredness, itchiness, water retention, or erectile dysfunction?

It’s unlikely that Eliquis will cause fatigue, tiredness, itchiness, water retention, or erectile dysfunction (ED). (ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection.) These weren’t reported as side effects in clinical studies of the drug.

However, the conditions Eliquis is used to treat may cause some of these symptoms. For example, atrial fibrillation (Afib) may cause fatigue. In addition, blood clots can cause swelling. And swelling may be due to water retention.

To learn more about Eliquis and fatigue, tiredness, itchiness, water retention, or ED, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Will coffee or turmeric interact with Eliquis?

The manufacturer of Eliquis hasn’t reported any interactions between coffee and Eliquis or turmeric and Eliquis.

Coffee may affect a different blood thinner called warfarin (Jantoven). However, coffee isn’t known to have an effect on Eliquis.

Does vitamin K affect Eliquis? Can I eat green leafy vegetables containing vitamin K while taking this drug?

No, vitamin K doesn’t affect Eliquis. It should be safe to eat green leafy vegetables while taking the drug.

Green leafy vegetables contain a high amount of vitamin K, which can affect warfarin (Jantoven). Warfarin is a blood thinner that works differently in the body than Eliquis does.

Because Eliquis and warfarin work differently, there’s no reason to avoid vitamin K or green leafy vegetables while taking Eliquis.

What’s to know about stopping Eliquis? Can I stop taking it ‘cold turkey’?

If your doctor says it’s safe, it should be OK to stop taking Eliquis “cold turkey” (suddenly).

However, stopping Eliquis without first discussing it with your doctor can lead to blood clots. In fact, Eliquis has a boxed warning for this risk. To learn more, see “Side effects explained” in the “Eliquis: Side effects” section above.

Due to this risk, it’s important to talk with your doctor before stopping Eliquis. If your doctor says it’s safe to stop taking Eliquis, they may prescribe you another medication for your condition.

Can I take Eliquis with Tylenol?

It should be safe to take Eliquis with acetaminophen (Tylenol). There aren’t any known interactions between the drugs.

However, other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may not be safe to take with Eliquis. Examples include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). NSAIDs can increase your risk of bleeding with Eliquis.

Before taking Eliquis with any OTC medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They’ll make sure the drug is safe to take with Eliquis.

Does Eliquis affect blood pressure?

Eliquis may affect blood pressure, but it isn’t common.

Low blood pressure was a rare side effect in clinical studies of Eliquis when used to prevent blood clots after hip or knee replacement.

Your doctor can advise on your risk of blood pressure changes while taking Eliquis.

Eliquis: Cost

Like other medications, prices for Eliquis may vary. The drug’s price will depend on factors such as:

Cost considerations for Eliquis

Here’s a list of things to consider when looking into the cost of Eliquis.

  • Option for a 90-day supply. For some drugs, it’s possible to get a 90-day supply. If this option is approved by your insurance company, it can help lower the cost of the drug. It can also help you avoid frequent trips to your pharmacy. If you’d like to learn more about this option, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.
  • Need for prior authorization. Before insurance coverage for Eliquis is approved, your insurance company may require prior authorization. In this case, your doctor and insurance company will communicate about your prescription for Eliquis. Then, the insurance company will decide if the drug will be covered. To find out if you need prior authorization for Eliquis, contact your insurance company.
  • Possible cost assistance options. Financial assistance to help lower the cost of Eliquis is available. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the manufacturer of the drug, offers a copay card to help lower the cost of the drug. To learn more and see if you’re eligible for support, call 855-ELIQUIS (855-354-7847) or visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, check out this article to learn about ways to save on prescription drugs.
  • Use of a mail-order pharmacy. Eliquis may be dispensed through mail-order pharmacies. Getting your prescription through a mail-order pharmacy could lower its cost. It can also allow you to get the drug without leaving home. To find out more about this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.
  • Availability of a generic form. Eliquis comes in a generic form called apixaban. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. However, the generic price is typically less than the brand-name price. If your doctor prescribes Eliquis, but you want to know about using apixaban, talk with your doctor about which option might be better for you. Also, check your insurance plan because it might cover just one form or the other.

Eliquis: How it works

Eliquis is approved to treat or help prevent blood clots in certain situations. To learn more, see the “Eliquis: Uses” section above.

Eliquis belongs to a class of drugs called direct-acting oral anticoagulants, which are sometimes called blood thinners. Its mechanism of action (how it works) is by attaching to an enzyme (a type of protein) called factor Xa.

By attaching to this enzyme, Eliquis keeps factor Xa from working. In turn, your blood isn’t able to form clots. And blood clots that you already have aren’t able to grow larger. As a result, your body is able to naturally dissolve the blood clots.

How long does Eliquis take to start working?

Eliquis starts working within a few hours after taking your first dose.

How long does Eliquis stay in your system? What’s its half-life?

Eliquis stays in your system for a little more than 2 days after your last dose.

This is based on the drug’s half-life, which is about 12 hours. (A drug’s half-life is the time it takes your body to get rid of half a drug’s dose.) It typically takes about five half-lives for a drug to leave your system completely. For Eliquis, this means the drug stays in your system for about 60 hours.

Eliquis: Consuming alcohol during treatment

There aren’t any known interactions between Eliquis and alcohol.

However, drinking alcohol can increase your risk of bleeding. Bleeding is also a common side effect of Eliquis. So, drinking alcohol while taking the drug could increase your risk of bleeding even more.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor. They can recommend an amount that’s safe to drink while taking Eliquis.

Eliquis: Interactions

Eliquis may interact with other medications, certain supplements, and certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. Some interactions can interfere with a drug’s effectiveness. Others can increase a drug’s side effects or cause them to be severe.

If any of the interactions listed below might pertain to you, talk with your doctor. They can tell you what you need to do to avoid the interaction.

Eliquis: Reversing its effect

Eliquis works by keeping your blood from forming clots. A common side effect of Eliquis is bleeding. (For details, see the “Eliquis: Side effects” section above.)

Severe or life threatening bleeding with Eliquis can be reversed. This can be done with a treatment called coagulation factor Xa (Andexxa). Andexxa is given as an IV infusion in the hospital. It works by attaching to Eliquis in your body and keeping Eliquis from working. As a result, your blood is able to form clots again.

Andexxa can also be used to reverse the effects of Eliquis before an emergency surgery. Having surgery can increase your risk of bleeding. And this risk may be even higher while you’re taking Eliquis. So, your doctor may want to reverse the effects of Eliquis to lower your risk of bleeding with surgery.

If you have questions about reversing the effects of Eliquis, talk with your doctor.

Eliquis: How to take

Your doctor will recommend how you should take Eliquis. It’s important that you take the drug exactly as your doctor instructs.

Eliquis comes as an oral tablet. You’ll take the drug by swallowing it.

Questions about taking Eliquis

Here’s a list of common questions related to taking Eliquis.

  • When should I take Eliquis? You’ll take Eliquis twice daily. View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.
  • Do I need to take Eliquis with food? You can take Eliquis with or without food.
  • Can Eliquis be chewed, cut in half, or crushed? Eliquis tablets should not be chewed or cut in half. However, the tablets can be crushed and mixed with water, dextrose in water (a type of sugar mixture), apple juice, or apple sauce. The mixture should be taken right away after mixing it. People who have a feeding tube through their nose and stomach can take Eliquis through this tube. In this case, Eliquis can be mixed with water or dextrose in water. The mixture is then given through the tube.
  • Is there a best time of day to take Eliquis? There isn’t a best time of day to take Eliquis. You’ll likely take the drug every 12 hours (once in the morning and once in the evening).

Eliquis: Precautions

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings, the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of blood clots if Eliquis is stopped early. Stopping Eliquis too soon without your doctor’s recommendation can lead to blood clots. Depending on where the blood clot occurs, it could cause swelling, pain, or trouble breathing. If the clot travels to your brain, this can lead to a stroke. If your doctor says it’s safe to stop taking Eliquis, they may prescribe you another medication for your condition.

Risk of blood clots around the spine with certain procedures. For certain procedures, you may receive an injection into the epidural space (the area around the spinal cord) or spine. Having this type of injection while taking Eliquis increases the risk of blood clots forming near the spine or brain. In turn, this could lead to serious complications, including paralysis.

If you need to receive an epidural or spinal injection while taking Eliquis, your doctor will watch for blood clots in your spine or brain. Tell your doctor right away if you have any numbness, pain, tingling, or muscle weakness in your back, feet, or legs. Also, tell them if you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder. These could be signs of a spine or brain blood clot.

To learn more, see the “Eliquis: Side effects” section above.

Other precautions

Tell your doctor about your health history before starting treatment with Eliquis. Your doctor may not recommend this medication if you have certain factors affecting your health or specific medical conditions.

These factors and conditions include those listed below.

  • Kidney problems. Before taking Eliquis, be sure to tell your doctor if you have kidney problems. Certain kidney problems may increase the risk of side effects from Eliquis. In certain situations, your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Eliquis for you than usual.
  • Heart valve. Doctors won’t prescribe Eliquis for people who’ve had a heart valve replacement. The drug may not be safe to use in these cases. If you’ve had a heart valve replacement, your doctor will likely prescribe a treatment other than Eliquis for you.
  • Planned surgery. Having certain surgeries can increase your risk of serious bleeding. And bleeding is a common side effect of Eliquis. Therefore, your risk of serious bleeding with surgery may be even higher while you’re taking the drug. For this reason, your doctor may have you stop taking Eliquis for a few days before a planned surgery. This lowers your risk of bleeding with the surgery.
  • Active bleeding. Eliquis is contraindicated for use in people who have active bleeding. (A contraindication is a factor or condition that could prevent your doctor from prescribing a drug due to risk of harm.) This is because Eliquis may cause serious bleeding, which could worsen your condition. If you have active bleeding, your doctor may prescribe a treatment other than Eliquis for your condition.
  • Liver problems. Doctors typically won’t prescribe Eliquis for people with severe liver problems, such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). It’s not known if the drug is safe to use in people with these conditions. If you have severe liver problems, talk with your doctor about other possible treatment options.
  • Triple-positive antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Doctors typically won’t prescribe Eliquis for people with triple-positive APS. This is a condition that causes blood clots. Eliquis may increase the risk of blood clots in people with this condition. If you have triple-positive APS, your doctor can suggest a safer treatment option for you.
  • Allergic reaction. Your doctor will likely not prescribe Eliquis if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it or any of its ingredients. To find out about other treatment options, talk with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy. It isn’t known whether Eliquis is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’d like to learn more information about taking Eliquis while pregnant, view the “Eliquis: Taking while pregnant” section below.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not known if Eliquis passes into breast milk. If you’d like to learn more information about taking Eliquis while breastfeeding, view the “Eliquis: Taking while breastfeeding” section below.

To learn more about effects of Eliquis that could be harmful, see the “Eliquis: Side effects” section above.

Eliquis: Overdose

Serious bleeding can occur if you use more than the recommended dosage of Eliquis. Do not use more Eliquis than your doctor recommends. 

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms of serious bleeding with Eliquis include:

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Eliquis: Taking while pregnant

It isn’t known if Eliquis is safe to take during pregnancy.

Taking anticoagulants during pregnancy can increase the risk of bleeding in the pregnant person and fetus. (Eliquis is an anticoagulant, which is sometimes called a blood thinner.) Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Eliquis.

Additionally, you may receive an injection into the epidural space (the area around the spinal cord) for pain relief during labor. And Eliquis has a boxed warning for the risk of blood clots around the spine with this procedure. To learn more, see “Side effects explained” in the “Eliquis: Side effects” section above.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can advise if Eliquis is the right treatment for you.

Eliquis and birth control needs

Doctors aren’t sure whether it’s safe to take Eliquis during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about your birth control needs with Eliquis if you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant. Your doctor can recommend if you should use birth control with this medication.

Eliquis: Taking while breastfeeding

Your doctor will likely recommend that you don’t breastfeed while taking Eliquis.

This is because it isn’t known for sure if Eliquis may pass into breast milk. So, it isn’t known if the drug could lead to side effects in a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor. They can recommend healthy ways to feed your child.

Eliquis: Expiration, storage, and disposal

Here’s some information about Eliquis’s expiration date, as well as how to store and dispose of the drug.

  • Expiration. Your pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on Eliquis’s bottle. This date is usually 1 year from the date the medication was dispensed to you. Expiration dates help ensure that a medication is effective during a period of time. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that you avoid using expired drugs. If you have an unused medication and it’s past the drug’s expiration date, talk with your pharmacist. They can let you know whether you might still be able to use the medication.
  • Storage. Many factors determine how long a medication remains good to use. These factors include how and where you store the drug. Eliquis tablets should be stored at a room temperature between 68°F and 55°F (20°C and 25°C). The tablets can be stored temporarily at temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C), such as when traveling. Avoid storing it in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.
  • Disposal. It’s important to safely dispose of Eliquis if you no longer need to take it and have unused medication. Doing so helps prevent others, including children and pets, from accidentally taking the drug. It also helps avoid causing harm to the environment. Ask your pharmacist for information about disposing of Eliquis. Also, check out this page for several tips on safe medication disposal.

Eliquis: Questions for your doctor

If you have questions about Eliquis, talk with your doctor. They can help advise you on whether Eliquis could be a good treatment option for you.

Here’s a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Can I switch to Eliquis from a different blood thinner?
  • Will I need any blood tests to determine my dosage of Eliquis?
  • Do I take any medications that interact with Eliquis?

Your doctor may also tell you about other treatment options for your condition. You may find this article helpful in learning about alternative drugs for preventing blood clots. And check out our selection of videos on cardiovascular conditions.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA
Last Review Date: 2022 Apr 18
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.