Apixaban is used to prevent serious blood clots from forming due to a certain irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) or after hip/knee replacement surgery. With atrial fibrillation, part of the heart does not beat the way it should. This can lead to blood clots forming, which can travel to other parts of your body (such as the lungs or legs) or increase your risk for stroke. In the United States, apixaban is also approved to treat certain types of blood clots (deep vein thrombosis-DVT, pulmonary embolus-PE) and to prevent them from forming again. Apixaban is an anticoagulant that works by blocking certain clotting proteins in your blood.
See also Warning section. Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking apixaban and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily (every 12 hours). If you cannot swallow the tablet whole, you may crush the tablet and mix with water, apple juice, or applesauce and take it right away. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, weight, kidney function, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). If you are taking apixaban to prevent blood clots from forming after surgery, the length of treatment is based on the type of surgery that you had. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Do not run out of this medication. Order your refills early to avoid running out of pills. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
See also Warning section. Nausea, easy bruising, or minor bleeding (such as nosebleed, bleeding from cuts) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. This medication can cause serious bleeding if it affects your blood clotting proteins too much. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of serious bleeding, including: unusual pain/swelling/discomfort, unusual bruising, prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums, persistent/frequent nosebleeds, unusually heavy/prolonged menstrual flow, pink/dark urine, coughing up blood, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, severe headache, dizziness/fainting, unusual or persistent tiredness/weakness, bloody/black/tarry stools, difficulty swallowing. Get medical help right away if you have any signs of very serious bleeding, including: vision changes, confusion, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. If you are crushing the tablet and mixing it as directed in water, apple juice, or applesauce, use the mixture within 4 hours of preparing it. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: mifepristone, other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as warfarin, enoxaparin), certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine, SNRIs such as desvenlafaxine/venlafaxine). Other medications can affect the removal of apixaban from your body, which may affect how apixaban works. Examples include certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole), conivaptan, HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir, ritonavir), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), among others. Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) that may increase your risk for bleeding if taken together with this medication. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: bloody/black/tarry stools, pink/dark urine, unusual/prolonged bleeding.