Drugs Q & A

Can Eliquis Be Cut In Half?

A common question that many people ask their pharmacists is, “can I split my pills?” There are a variety of reasons people want to split their pills. Some people have trouble swallowing tablets that are too big. Others cut pills in half because their healthcare provider wants them to slightly raise or lower their current dose. People also split pills to save money on medication.

Whatever the reason, cutting tablets in half is common. But not all pills can be split. Sometimes, cutting your pill in half can completely change how the medication will work.

What is Eliquis?

Eliquis is a brand of apixaban, a prescription medicine used to prevent venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the veins) in adults following a hip or knee replacement operation. It is also used in adults to treat deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg) and pulmonary embolism (clot in a blood vessel supplying the lungs), and to prevent their reoccurrence.

Additionally, Eliquis is used to prevent stroke (caused by blood clots in the brain) and blood clots in other organs in adults with atrial fibrillation (irregular rapid contractions of the upper chambers of the heart). It is used in patients who have one or more risk factors, such as having had a previous stroke, having high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, or being 75 years old or over.

How should Eliquis be taken?

Eliquis is available in 2.5 mg and 5 mg tablets. For patients who have had a hip or knee replacement, treatment with Eliquis should be started 12 to 24 hours after the operation. The recommended dose is one 2.5 mg tablet taken by mouth twice a day, usually for over one month (32 to 38 days) after a hip replacement or for 10 to 14 days after a knee replacement. For patients with atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke or blood clots, the recommended dose is 5 mg taken twice a day.

For the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, the recommended dose is 10 mg twice a day for the first week, followed by 5 mg twice a day for at least 3 months. To prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism from reoccurring, the recommended dose is 2.5 mg twice a day.

Can Eliquis be cut in half?

Yes, you can cut Eliquis 5mg in half if your recommended dose of Eliquis is 2.5 mg taken orally twice daily. In addition, if you are unable to swallow whole tablets, Eliquis tablets may be crushed and suspended in water, or 5% glucose in water (G5W), or apple juice or mixed with apple puree and immediately administered orally.

However, it is generally not recommended to cut Eliquis (apixaban) tablets in half without first consulting with your doctor or pharmacist. Eliquis tablets come in various strengths and are specifically formulated to release the medication over a certain period of time. Cutting the tablet in half can disrupt the formulation and may affect the efficacy of the medication.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend a lower dose of Eliquis that is appropriate for your medical condition, and they may prescribe a lower strength of Eliquis tablets. If your doctor prescribes a lower strength of Eliquis, then you can take the prescribed dose as directed by your doctor.

If you have difficulty swallowing the Eliquis tablets, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist about alternative methods of administration, such as crushing the tablets or using a different formulation of the medication. However, you should not alter the dosage or method of administration of your medication without first consulting with your doctor or pharmacist.

Frequently asked questions about Eliquis (apixaban)

Can I drink coffee while taking Eliquis?

You can take Eliquis and drink coffee. It is always a good idea to discuss your daily diet and eating habits with your provider at your appointments, though.

Can you ever get off Eliquis?

If you are taking Eliquis because of joint replacement surgery, you’ll most likely be taken off the medication after a few weeks. If you are taking Eliquis for atrial fibrillation or to treat blood clots, you’ll most likely take it for a long time.

Can you eat a salad while taking Eliquis?

Eliquis doesn’t depend on Vitamin K to work as warfarin does. Because of this, you can continue to eat green, leafy vegetables, salads, and other Vitamin K-containing foods and drinks while taking Eliquis.

Can I drink alcohol while on Eliquis?

You can drink in moderation while taking Eliquis. Large amounts of alcohol can cause serious side effects like making you bleed more. Try to limit alcohol to 1 drink per day (either 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 oz of distilled spirits).

Can you get blood clots while on Eliquis?

While Eliquis is very good at preventing blood clots, there’s no blood thinner that works perfectly for everyone. It’s still possible to have blood clots while on it. This is why it is important to take it exactly as your provider says and go to all of your appointments.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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