For most people, taking a new medication may mean switching up your lifestyle a bit and that includes the foods you eat. A food-drug interaction means that a specific nutrient or compound within the food changes the way your body metabolizes the medication, and this can either enhance or reduce the dose your body gets, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The potential results: an increased risk of side effects, many of which can be dangerous, or the drug not working as it was intended. Before introducing a medication, ask your pharmacist about any food interactions, including with alcohol, and any adjustments you may have to make to your diet.
What is Eliquis?
Eliquis is a brand of Apixaban, a type of medicine known as an anticoagulant, or blood thinner. It makes your blood flow through your veins more easily. This means your blood will be less likely to make a dangerous blood clot. It’s FDA-approved to treat and prevent dangerous blood clots that can block blood vessels in your body.
Specifically, Eliquis is approved for use in adults to:
• Prevent blood clots and stroke in people with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib). Nonvalvular AFib is a type of irregular heartbeat that’s not caused by a heart valve problem. With this condition, you have a raised risk for blood clots forming in your heart.
• Treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside your body. DVTs most commonly occur in a vein in your leg, but they can also occur in your arm.
• Treat pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE is a blood clot that blocks blood flow to your lungs. It usually occurs when a DVT gets dislodged and travels through your veins to your lungs.
• Prevent DVT or PE from recurring. After you’ve had initial treatment for a DVT or PE, Eliquis helps prevent blood clots from occurring again.
• Prevent DVT that could lead to PE in people who’ve had hip or knee replacement surgery. These surgeries raise your risk of getting these types of blood clots.
How should Eliquis be used?
Eliquis comes as a tablet that you take by mouth. It’s available in two strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg) and 5 mg. Eliquis contains the active drug apixaban. When apixaban is taken to prevent DVT and PE after hip or knee replacement surgery, the first dose should be taken at least 12 to 24 hours after surgery. Eliquis is usually taken for 35 days after a hip replacement surgery and for 12 days after knee replacement surgery. Take Eliquis at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Eliquis exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are unable to swallow the tablets, you can crush them and mix them with water, apple juice, or applesauce. Swallow the mixture right after you prepare it. Eliquis can also be given in certain types of feeding tubes. Ask your doctor if you should take this medication in your feeding tube. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully.
Continue to take Eliquis even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Eliquis without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking Eliquis, your risk of a blood clot may increase.
What Foods To Avoid While On Eliquis?
You should limit or avoid the following foods while on Eliquis:
- Brussels sprouts
- Cranberry juice
- Green onions
- Green tea
These foods contain compounds that can affect how Eliquis works and also affect the blood’s ability to clot thus increasing the risk of adverse effects such as bleeding.
What are the side effects of Eliquis?
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
• bleeding gums
• heavy vaginal bleeding
• red, pink, or brown urine
• red or black, tarry stools
• coughing up or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
• swelling or joint pain
• chest pain or tightness
• swelling of the face or tongue
• trouble breathing
• feeling dizzy or faint
Eliquis prevents blood from clotting normally, so it may take longer than usual for you to stop bleeding if you are cut or injured. This medication may also cause you to bruise or bleed more easily. Call your doctor right away if bleeding or bruising is unusual, severe, or cannot be controlled.
Eliquis may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).