There are no specific foods or drinks to avoid while taking Eliquis. However, it is vital to understand how certain supplements, lifestyle habits, and foods can improve your experience of taking this medication.
There are also some drug interactions to take into consideration. Although Eliquis is a common medication, there are a few serious side effects that you can ease by sticking to a lifestyle or dietary plan throughout your treatment.
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What is Eliquis?
Doctors typically prescribe apixaban if you're at risk of a stroke or heart attack, often because you are in a specific risk category or are already suffering from heart disease or cardiovascular problems.
Some patients take Eliquis to prevent blood clots in the leg, known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. It can also prevent a blood clot in the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism.
Those with an abnormal heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) or who have had hip or knee replacement surgery also take this medication to avoid DVT or reduce the risk of a blood clot.
Eliquis blocks the effects of factor Xa (FXa), an enzyme in the body that causes the formation of substances that cause blood clots. Due to this, Eliquis makes the blood less likely to clot, reducing the risk of a heart attack, DVT, and other life-threatening issues.
The FDA has approved using Eliquis to reduce the risk factors associated with strokes and systemic embolisms for those with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
Side effects of Eliquis
There are a few common side effects of Eliquis. For example, you might experience tiredness and lack energy while taking this drug and appear paler than usual. For some, Eliquis also causes shortness of breath or noticeable heart palpitations.
The risk of bleeding more quickly than usual is one of the main side effects of this medication, including:
- Heavy periods
- Bleeding gums
Due to the ability to bleed easier than usual, there’s an increased risk of anemia while taking this medication.
The side effects of tiredness and energy loss are common symptoms of iron deficiency. Therefore, discussing the possibility of developing anemia with your doctor to understand how to manage it is essential.
You can reduce the risk of bleeding by taking extra care while using this medication. For example, some healthcare professionals warn against playing contact sports or engaging in activities that can cause bruising or injuries. Although these sports may not cause severe injuries, even relatively harmless bruises or cuts are more dangerous while taking Eliquis.
If you enjoy contact or high-impact sports, try a less impactful exercise, such as walking, while taking this drug.
You should carry your anticoagulant alert card with you all the time. This card tells a healthcare professional that you are taking blood-thinning medication and could be at risk of bleeding. You should also advise your dentist you're using this medication before undergoing any dental procedures.
Drug interactions with Eliquis
Various prescription medications interact with Eliquis. Therefore, discussing any underlying medical conditions or treatments with a healthcare professional before taking these blood thinners is vital.
Common medication interactions with Eliquis can include:
- Drugs that treat fungal infections, such as Nizoral or Erythromycin Tablets
- Epilepsy drugs, including Tegretol, Dilantin, and Phenobarbital
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil (ibuprofen), aspirin, and Aleve (naproxen)
- Antiplatelet medicine, such as Plavix (clopidogrel)
- Other anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin), Pradaxa (dabigatran), and heparin.
It is vital to avoid antiplatelet medications. Clotting factors in the blood require platelets. However, such medicines can increase your risk of bleeding while taking Eliquis.
Pregnant women should not take Eliquis; women who become pregnant while taking the drug can also be at risk. In addition, those who have a spinal tap or epidural procedure are at risk of a blood clot around the spinal cord while taking this medication.
Before starting a prescription, you should speak with a healthcare provider about any previous allergic reactions to this medication.
Unlike other strong medications, you do not need regular blood tests while on Eliquis. However, attending any scheduled INR tests is essential to monitor this blood-thinning medicine and check that it performs correctly.
Herbal remedies and vitamins
Many people use herbal remedies as a natural treatment for mental and physical health conditions. However, there is very little medical research about these remedies, so it is crucial to understand how they might affect your Eliquis prescription.
You should avoid St. John’s Wort while taking apixaban, as this herbal remedy can worsen the side effects of this drug. There are a few other herbs with potential anticoagulant effects that you should avoid, such as ginkgo biloba, turmeric, and white willow.
There is also some evidence to suggest that vitamin K interacts adversely with Eliquis in your body. Vitamin K supplements or foods high in vitamin K can thicken the blood. This medication needs to thin the blood and dissolve blood clots, so you should avoid vitamin K-rich foods to let Eliquis do its job.
These foods include:
- Collard greens
- Leafy green vegetables
- Green tea
- Cranberry juice
- Grapefruit juice
Grapefruit juice contains compounds that can offset the work of blood thinners, which can lead to increased bleeding for some patients - so it is best to avoid it.
As well as Eliquis, these foods can lessen the effectiveness of other blood thinners like Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Brilinta.
Speak to a doctor about these critical vitamins and herbal remedies before taking Eliquis to understand what to avoid with your prescription.
Alcohol and Eliquis
It is safe to drink alcohol and take Eliquis, but you should limit your alcohol intake whenever you can.
Binge drinking or heavy drinking can increase the effect of Eliquis. While this might sound positive, it actually means you can bleed easier, potentially making minor injuries or bruises more dangerous.
It is best to avoid alcohol to alleviate some of the nasty side effects of this drug and maintain a good quality of life.
Understanding how to stay safe while taking Eliquis
Understanding how to take Eliquis, including common drug interactions and lifestyle changes, can improve your experience with this medication.
The risk of bleeding means limiting lifestyle habits involving bruising or injury, like playing contact sports. There are also some food and drink items to avoid to improve how this medication works in your body. This will reduce the risk of experiencing severe side effects while on Eliquis.
If you're already struggling with the side effects of this medication, it is essential to make the necessary lifestyle and diet changes as soon as possible.
Discuss any herbal remedies or supplements with your doctor before taking this drug, and always follow any dietary or medical advice you receive.