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Apixaban is used to prevent formation of blood clots in arteries and veins (deep vein thrombosis) of patients who have undergone lower limb surgery, or have heart disease or risk factors  for stroke (previous stroke or mini-stroke, hypertension, diabetes, heart failure), or have recurrent clots in blood vessels of lung (pulmonary embolism).

How it works

Apixaban is an anticoagulant that prevents formation and development of blood clots in the blood vessels by directly averting the action of blood clotting factor X.

Common side effects

Nose bleed, Anemia, Blood in stool, Blood in urine, Brain haemorrhage, Bruise, Swelling, Rectal haemorrhage (bleeding), Gastrointestinal bleeding, Bleeding gums, Vomiting of blood, Nausea, Vaginal bleeding


Expert advice

  • Talk to your doctor if you have bleeding disorders or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • Take precautions to avoid even minor injuries as apixaban can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Your blood pressure (BP) should be monitored during and 24 hours after treatment.
  • Do not take apixaban if you have severe liver problems, kidney disease, or if you are on dialysis.
  • Inform your doctor if you have prosthetic heart valve or a catheter or an injection into your spinal column.
  • Do not stop taking apixaban unless advised, as stopping suddenly can increase the risk of blood clot or stroke.
  • Inform your doctor if you are consuming other blood-thinning medications such as aspirin, warfarin, and heparin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is apixaban an anticoagulant?
Yes, Apixaban is an anticoagulant that prevents formation and development of blood clots
Q. Is apixaban safer than warfarin?
Apixaban is safer than warfarin as it affects only factor X, instead of all clotting factors affected by warfarin, leading to decreased risk of bleeding from various body organs. However, each of the drugs has its own uses and is used taking into consideration the requirements of the disease and the patient. 
Q. Can I take ibuprofen with apixaban?
No. Using apixaban together with ibuprofen may increase the risk of bleeding, including severe and sometimes fatal haemorrhage.
Q. Does apixaban affect International normalized ration (INR)?
Apixaban affects INR variably, however, INR levels which indicate coagulability of blood cannot be used to monitor apixaban treatment.
Q. How long does apixaban take to work?
Apixaban takes 1-2 hours to start acting, with peak effect seen at 3-4 hours of oral intake.
Q. Does apixaban have an antidote?
Apixaban does not have an antidote. Overdose may be corrected by surgical haemostasis or the transfusion of fresh frozen plasma.
Q. Is apixaban dialyzable?
No, apixaban is not dialyzable.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)