Apixaban

Apixaban belongs to a group of medications known as anticoagulants, designed to prevent the extension of existing blood clots and/or formation of new blood clots.

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​What is this medication used for

Apixaban belongs to a group of medications known as anticoagulants, designed to prevent the extension of existing blood clots and/or formation of new blood clots. 

Apixaban is prescribed because 

  • Patient has been diagnosed with blood clot(s) in the leg(s) / lung / heart / others, or
  • ​Patient has been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm) and require stroke prevention, or
  • ​Patient has undergone major surgery which requires prolonged immobilization and it is necessary to prevent blood clots in the leg(s) 

​​

Dosage and How to Use​​​

Apixaban is taken twice daily after food. It is important to take Apixaban consistently at the same timings each day.

For patients who are unable to swallow tablets whole or on tube feeding, Apixaban tablets may be crushed and mixed with water or soft foods (e.g. porridge) and taken orally. 

Missed a Dose​​​

Apixaban has relatively short lifespan in your body. It is critical to ensure that you remember to take all doses as prescribed.

Take the missed dose as soon as possible on the same day. Thereafter, continue on your usual twice-daily dosing. Do not double the dose or take extra doses to compensate for your missed dose.​​​

​​​

Side Effects, Precautions, Contraindication​​

What happens if I have to take other medicines and supplements?​​

Other medicines or supplements, including over-the-counter (OTC), herbal preparations or traditional medicines, can magnify or reduce the effects of Apixaban. Please check with your pharmacist or doctor before deciding to take other medications and/or supplements.​

What are some of the side effects of Apixaban​​?​​​​

Apixaban may increase risk of bleeding and bruising. Some warning signs to look out for include nosebleeds, heavy menstruation, and gum bleeding. It may be necessary to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce gum bleeding. Should you experience these side effects, please inform your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Examine yourself daily for any bruises and pin-sized blood spots under the skin. Do not massage any bruises as it may worsen the bruising.

What sort of precautions do I need to take?​​

Certain contact sports and activities like rugby and martial arts should be avoided as they can put you at greater risk of injuries and bruising.

Should you be scheduled for any invasive procedures e.g. operations (surgery) or dental procedures, check with your doctor to see if there is a need to stop Apixaban. 

It is important that you have sufficient supply to last until your next appointment. If you realise that you are running out of supply before your appointment, either bring forward your appointment or call up the clinic to request for a prescription for more medicine. Missing more than one day’s medicine could result in undesired consequences, such as the loss of Apixaban’s effects.


​Handling and Storage​

Keep the tablets in a safe place out of reach of children. Store the tablets in a dry place at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.​

​​

When to seek further medical advice​​

Look out for signs of allergy: swelling of lips and/or eyes, difficulty breathing, rashes or itching. Stop the medication and see your doctor immediately if it occurs.

In addition, please consult your doctor immediately should you suspect you are pregnant. You should also consult your doctor before becoming pregnant or deciding to breastfeed. 

Go to the A&E immediately if you experience/notice the following:
​​
  • Coffee-grain like appearance of vomit;
  • ​Dark, cloudy or “Teh-O”-coloured urine;
  • Dark, tarry, and foul-smelling stools;
  • Extensive bruising or hard impact(s) occurring to any part of your body;
  • Severe bleeding that persists despite applying pressure for more than 15 minutes;
  • Sudden shortness of breath;
  • Increased frequency of chest tightness or chest pains;
  • Sudden blurred vision (“blackouts”), severe headaches with nausea and vomiting;
  • Numbness and/or weakness over one side of your body;
  • ​Sudden development of red, swollen, warm and painful lower limb(s)

Additional Information​

What are the Apixaban tablets that are available?​

The brand name of Apixaban is Eliquis®. There are two different strengths available:

​Eli​quis® 2.5mg

​​Eliquis® 5mg​


​Prepared by KTPH Patient Education Workgroup 08.05.17
The information provided in this article is intended to supplement, not as a substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your doctor, pharmacist or any other healthcare professional. ​​


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