Canadian Pharmacy Service

What are the most common side effects of Eliquis?

Wednesday 26 January 2022
4 minute(s) read
Dr.Sandra Bolanos

Medically reviewed by

Dr Sandra Bolanos, MD, PhD

on 31 October 2022

Table of Contents

I. Eliquis Side Effects

a. Common Side Effects

b. Rare Side Effects

c. When to Call Your Doctor

II. Eliquis Interactions

III. Reducing Your Risk

Eliquis (apixaban) belongs to a class of blood thinners called factor Xa inhibitors. This drug is used to treat blood clots, lower the risk of irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation), pulmonary embolism, and prevent clot formation in patients with hip and knee replacement surgeries. Before taking this medication, it is important to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking. Like any drug, it is important to know the potential side effects before starting. Visit Canadian Pharmacy Service for more information about Eliquis and generic Eliquis in Canada. Read on to learn about the different side effects of Eliquis.

Eliquis Side Effects

When taking Eliquis, it is important to stay in touch with your doctor and report any side effects that you experience. Eliquis blocks your body’s natural clotting ability, meaning your blood may not congeal in the event of an injury. Even small cuts can lead to excessive bleeding. While external injuries are visible, internal bleeding may also occur, so it is important to pay attention to any bruising or pain.

a friend helping to apply bandages

a. What are the most common side effects of Eliquis?

Common side effects of Eliquis may include headache, dizziness, weakness, and feeling like you might faint. It is not unusual to notice easy bruising and nosebleeds. If you are allergic to apixaban, you may encounter face swelling and difficulty breathing. Remember to report even common side effects that you experience while taking Eliquis to your doctor to help better determine how your body is reacting to this medicine. [1]

b. Rare Side Effects

Certain side effects may be less common, but do not ignore them. Rare side effects of Eliquis may include chest tightness, unusual tiredness, difficulty swallowing, and constipation. Eliquis may also cause a fast heartbeat, bloody stools, blood in the eyes, or blood in the vomit. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may require medical assistance.

c. When to Call Your Doctor

Speak to your doctor for a complete list outlining the possible side effects of Eliquis. You should investigate any side effects of unusual bleeding and tell your doctor. This includes heavy menstrual bleeding and bleeding from the nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum.

a black and white image of numerous different medication tablets

You should also seek help from your doctor if you experience tingling, muscle weakness, or numbness. These symptoms may indicate a spinal blood clot. A spinal blood clot is a very serious condition that can lead to long-term paralysis. This condition is more likely to occur if you go through spinal surgery. {{2}}

Eliquis Interactions

Unexpected side effects may occur if you take certain medications with Eliquis. In addition to increasing the risk of side effects, drug interactions may reduce the effectiveness of Eliquis. Patients taking Eliquis should ask their doctor before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Supplements and herbal medicines may also interfere with Eliquis. If you are unsure whether a certain substance is safe to take with Eliquis, consult your doctor.

Generally, it is unsafe to take another blood thinner while on Eliquis. These include Xarelto (rivaroxaban), Coumadin (warfarin), and Pradaxa (dabigatran). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also known to cause issues when taken with apixaban. Other Eliquis drug interactions include:

  • Aspirin
  • Antidepressants (SSRIs and SNRIs such as Prozac, Effexor, and Zoloft)
  • Advil, Motrin, and Aleve
  • CYP3A4 Inhibitors such as ketoconazole, ritonavir, rifampin, and phenytoin
  • Certain herbal medicine such as St. John’s wort {{2}}

a close-up shot of a hockey face-off)

Reducing Your Risk of Bleeding Events

Most of the side effects of Eliquis involve bleeding that will not stop, so the most important step to reduce your risk is to exercise caution around sharp objects and avoid activities that put you in harm’s way (tackle football, ice hockey, soccer, and other contact sports). While this does not mean you cannot participate in your favorite sports, your doctor may recommend extra protection and gear to prevent bruising and cuts. You will also likely be cautioned against drinking too much alcohol to reduce the risk of falling and other accidents. {{3}}

Blood thinners like Eliquis (apixaban) play an important role in reducing the risk of blood clots, but they do come with risks. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about any side effects or drug interactions mentioned here. Patients undergoing treatment for more than one condition may have their dosages adjusted to avoid adverse effects. 

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.