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What ELIQUIS Is Used For?

Eliquis is the brand name for the drug apixaban, an oral anticoagulant manufactured and sold jointly by American pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Eliquis is part of a new class of blood thinning drugs that includes Xarelto and Pradaxa. These medications are designed to prevent blood clots without the dietary restrictions and regular blood tests required of the traditional drug warfarin.


Eliquis is a blood thinning medication that helps prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. It also prevents blood clots in patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery

Like Xarelto, Eliquis is a direct Factor Xa inhibitor. However, it is taken twice per-day instead of once per-day like Xarelto. Eliquis currently ranks near the top-25 most prescribed drugs in the United States, with more than 5 million prescriptions each year.

While initial clinical trial data for Eliquis indicated it may be the safest of the new blood thinners, officials have now questioned the reliability of these studies due to missing information.

Also, unlike with warfarin, there is no commercially available antidote to stop internal bleeding from Eliquis in cases of emergency. As a result, the FDA has received more than 750 reports of patients suffering internal bleeding injury or death.

This year, the first lawsuits were filed against the makers of Eliquis over internal bleeding.


The package insert and prescribing information for Eliquis list a number of adverse reactions that may occur when taking the medication. The most common and most dangerous of these are internal bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, and cerebral hemorrhaging, which are discussed below.

Common Side Effects

Other more common side effects associated with Eliquis during clinical trials include:

  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Face or tongue swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Anemia
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Contusions
  • Allergic reaction
  • Liver disorders
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Kidney disorders.

If you experience any of these side effects while taking Eliquis, it is important to talk with your doctor. However, it is not recommended that you stop taking Eliquis without direction from your doctor to do so.

Medical Risks

Blood thinning drugs are designed to inhibit the body’s natural tendency to form blood coagulation, in order to prevent clots and stroke. However, this can cause the unwanted and dangerous side effect of internal bleeding.

While all the major brand-name blood thinners contain fine print warnings that internal bleeding can occur, they also claim they are safer that traditional anticoagulants, with fewer bleeding side effects.

Eliquis Internal Bleeding

In the case of Eliquis, the manufacturer failed to inform consumers that it is only slightly better at causing most internal bleeding than other medications, and even more likely to cause some types (see below).

Also, the traditional anticoagulant warfarin has a tried-and-tested antidote that can be used in emergencies to stop bleeding. Eliquis does not have an FDA-approved bleeding antidote. The manufacturer doesn’t fully inform patients that, in cases of emergency bleeding, the only current treatment is to discontinue use and wait for bleeding to stop on its own.

So far, the FDA has received at least 661 adverse event reports concerning Eliquis patients suffering internal bleeding, and at least 111 reports of patient death. And, experts estimate less than 25% of these side effects are actually reported to the FDA.

Clinical Trial Bleeding Events

BMS and Pfizer have advertised Eliquis as a medication that is more effective than warfarin at preventing stroke and blood clots, while having fewer occurrences of internal bleeding. However, studies show this isn’t entirely accurate.

In a clinical trial involving more than 9,000 patients, Eliquis was slightly more effective at preventing strokes and blood clots than traditional medication warfarin. However, it caused almost as many overall bleeding events, and even more of one specific type.

Manufacturer Studies on Eliquis

In the manufacturer’s own studies, more than 2% of patients taking Eliquis experienced a major bleeding incident, which includes gastrointestinal bleeding, cerebral hemorrhage or bleeding death. This was compared to a rate of over 3% of patients taking warfarin.

The majority of these bleeding events occurred in patients over the age of 65, who were taking the 5 mg dose.

However, in the cases of intraocular bleeding (bleeding of the eye), those patients taking Eliquis were approximately 50% more likely to suffer the side effect as those taking warfarin.

Also, a new report indicates FDA experts have raised questions about the true benefit of Eliquis over other medications as a large portion of data was missing from the clinical trial.

Latest ELIQUIS News & Recalls

May 7, 2016 – Blood Thinner Test may be Unreliable: 

According to a recent report, the test normally used to control the side effects of bleeding and coagulation after taking anticoagulants such as Eliquis may not be reliable.

In a study published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine, researchers determined that in cases reported in poison control centers, lab tests are typically used to measure prescribed clotting factors so that doctors can diagnose internal bleeding. can increase. a small number of cases, but they are unreliable to measure the risk of internal bleeding in patients.

Henry Spiller, D. ABAT, co-author of the study, toxicologist and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at the National Children’s Hospital. In a recent interview, he said, “Anticoagulants are useful drugs and we do not want people to stop taking them, so we may need to improve how we monitor patients who take these medications.”

The study used data from approximately 800 hospitals and eight regional poison control centers covering nine states. Hemorrhage was reported in only 15 out of 7 patients (7%) and coagulation tests were normal for most patients.

Many patients use anticoagulants to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. Eliquis and other commercially available anticoagulants can cause serious injury or death in some patients with significant bleeding. For these patients, medications like Eliquis can make stopping bleeding almost impossible in some situations.

Lawsuits & Settlements

In recent years, nearly 10,000 patients and families have filed lawsuits against the makers of Pradaxa and Xarelto for internal bleeding injury or death. So far, more than $650 million has been awarded to victims.

Eliquis Bleeding Litigation

Now, lawyers have begun investigating cases against the makers of Eliquis as well. This year, the first lawsuits were filed on behalf of a widow whose husband died of major gastrointestinal bleeding, and a man who suffered a severe brain hemorrhage.

Sadly, legal experts believe this is just the start of the litigation, as thousands more may eventually come forward for help after being hospitalized or losing a loved one.

Recent lawsuits have also alleged that the makers of Eliquis altered or concealed clinical data on its bleeding side effects in order to make it appear safer than it really is. If this is proven to be true, millions of people may have been put at risk.

For more information on the studies, warnings and side effects of Eliquis, or to speak with a lawyer about a claim, contact Healthcare Advocacy Group today.


Do you want to learn if you have a case? The lawsuits are being filed on behalf of those patients who suffered:

  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Face or tongue swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Anemia
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Contusions
  • Allergic reaction
  • Liver disorders
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Kidney disorders

The suit claims that the drug makers failed to properly warn patients and doctors of the most severe side effects of these drugs, causing additional injuries.

Lawyers expect that thousands of patients will ultimately come forward with injuries to file claims. As is often the case with drug injury lawsuits, cases may eventually be consolidated in a central federal court for expedited handling.

A lawyer can speak with you today to determine if your case qualifies, and it costs nothing to investigate or file your claim unless you receive compensation.

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