High-Alert Medications

Safety Sheet

Take extra care! Eliquis is a high-alert medicine.

This means that Eliquis has been proven to be safe and effective, but serious harm, such as severe bleeding or a stroke, can occur if it is not taken exactly as directed.

When Your Doctor Prescribes Eliquis (a blood thinner)

1. Tell your doctor about all your diseases and conditions. Eliquis may not be right for you if you have any of the following: bleeding disorders, kidney or liver disease, stomach ulcers, problems with your heart valves, artificial heart valves, open wounds, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you tend to fall or are at risk for falls.

2. Tell the doctor what else you take. Certain medicines increase the risk of bleeding when taken with Eliquis. Provide the doctor with a list of all the prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines, vitamins, and other dietary supplements you take. While taking Eliquis, tell your doctor if you start or stop any medicines, herbals, or dietary supplements. Common over-the-counter and herbal medicines to avoid can be found on the other side of this page in the Fast Facts table.

3. Know why you take Eliquis and how to take it. Check that you understand how to take Eliquis by telling the doctor why you are taking the medicine, what times of the day you will take it, what strength pills you will take (2½ mg or 5 mg), and how many pills you will take each time. If you take Eliquis to treat a blood clot that has formed in your legs or lung, the starting dose will be reduced after 7 days. In this case, your doctor may pre- scribe an Eliquis Starter Pack for the first 30 days with directions for taking the correct dose each day.

4. Talk about costs. Let your doctor know if you might have trouble paying for Eliquis. The doctor may be able to help you get a discount or switch you to a less expensive medicine.

When Taking Eliquis

5. Take exactly as directed. Take your Eliquis at the same time or times each day and do not skip any doses. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is time for your next dose. Do NOT take more than one dose at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

6  Do not stop the medicine. Do not stop taking Eliquis unless your doctor tells you to stop. Refill your prescription before you run out. Stopping the medicine may increase your risk of forming blood clots or having a stroke.

7. Tell all your healthcare providers. Tell all your doctors, dentists, and pharmacists that you are taking Eliquis.

8.  Take precautions to prevent bleeding. Avoid sharp objects, rough sports, and fall risks (climbing a ladder, for example) that can lead to bruising, cuts, or injuries. Use a soft toothbrush and electric razor, and blow your nose gently.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

9. Call immediately if you fall or injure yourself, especially if you hit your head, or if you experience any signs of bleeding, a blood clot, a stroke, or an allergic reaction, which are listed on the other side of this page. If you can’t reach your doctor right away, seek immediate treatment in an emergency room.

10. Call before you have any dental work, surgery, a spinal or epidural injection, or any other type of medical procedure that may cause you to bleed. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking Eliquis for a while. Ask your doctor to tell you when to start taking Eliquis again after the procedure.

Eliquis tablets come in two strengths. The front of each tablet is marked with a number that corresponds to the strength (2½mg or 5 mg). The back of each tablet also includes a number unrelated to the strength (893 or 894). Be sure the number on the front of the tablet matches the strength you need for your prescribed dose.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately if You Have Signs of Bleeding, Blood Clot, Stroke, or Allergic Reaction

Signs of bleeding

  • Unusual pain, swelling, discomfort (may also be a sign of a clot)
  • Unusual or easy bruising
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Prolonged bleeding of gums or cuts
  • Persistent, frequent nosebleeds
  • Unusually heavy/long menstrual flow
  • Coughing up blood clots
  • Vomit that is bloody or looks like “coffee grounds”
  • Severe dizziness, weakness, headache, fainting, unusual or persistent tiredness
  • Bloody red or black tarry stools (poop)
  • Joint pain

Signs of a blood clot or stroke

  • In the lung: chest pain, fast heart rate, coughing, trouble breathing, fever
  • In the arm or leg: sudden pain, swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness
  • In the brain (stroke): headache; dizziness; seizure; vision changes; slurred speech or trouble speaking; weakness or tingling in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

Signs of an allergic reaction

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Swollen face or tongue