What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet, the original can be viewed in PDF format using the link above.

The text only version may be available from RNIB in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: EU/1/11/691/008.

Eliquis 5 mg film-coated tablets

Package leaflet: Information for the user

Eliquis 5 mg film-coated tablets

Apixaban

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
  • This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

What is in this leaflet

1. What Eliquis is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Eliquis
3. How to take Eliquis
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Eliquis
6. Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Eliquis is and what it is used for

Eliquis contains the active substance apixaban and belongs to a group of medicines called anticoagulants. This medicine helps to prevent blood clots from forming by blocking Factor Xa, which is an important component of blood clotting.

Eliquis is used in adults:

  • to prevent a blood clot from forming in the heart in patients with an irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation) and at least one additional risk factor. Blood clots may break off and travel to the brain and lead to a stroke or to other organs and prevent normal blood flow to that organ (also known as a systemic embolism). A stroke can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
  • to treat blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis) and in the blood vessels of your lungs (pulmonary embolism), and to prevent blood clots from re-occurring in the blood vessels of your legs and/or lungs.

2. What you need to know before you take Eliquis

Do not take Eliquis if:

  • you are allergic to apixaban or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
  • you are bleeding excessively
  • you have a disease in an organ of the body that increases the risk of serious bleeding (such as an active or a recent ulcer of your stomach or bowel, recent bleeding in your brain)
  • you have a liver disease which leads to increased risk of bleeding (hepatic coagulopathy)
  • you are taking medicines to prevent blood clotting (e.g., warfarin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran or heparin), except when changing anticoagulant treatment or while having a venous or arterial line and you get heparin through this line to keep it open.

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before you take this medicine if you have any of the following:

  • an increased risk of bleeding, such as:
    • bleeding disorders, including conditions resulting in reduced platelet activity
    • very high blood pressure, not controlled by medical treatment
    • you are older than 75 years
    • you weigh 60 kg or less
  • a severe kidney disease or if you are on dialysis
  • a liver problem or a history of liver problems
    Eliquis will be used with caution in patients with signs of altered liver function.
  • if you have a prosthetic heart valve
  • if your doctor determines that your blood pressure is unstable or another treatment or surgical procedure to remove the blood clot from your lungs is planned

If you need to have surgery or a procedure which may cause bleeding, your doctor might ask you to temporarily stop taking this medicine for a short while. If you are not sure whether a procedure may cause bleeding ask your doctor.

Children and adolescents

Eliquis is not recommended in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

Other medicines and Eliquis

Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.

Some medicines may increase the effects of Eliquis and some may decrease its effects. Your doctor will decide, if you should be treated with Eliquis when taking these medicines and how closely you should be monitored.

The following medicines may increase the effects of Eliquis and increase the chance for unwanted bleeding:

  • some medicines for fungal infections (e.g., ketoconazole, etc.)
  • some antiviral medicines for HIV / AIDS (e.g., ritonavir)
  • other medicines that are used to reduce blood clotting (e.g., enoxaparin, etc.)
  • anti-inflammatory or pain medicines (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid or naproxen). Especially, if you are older than 75 years and are taking acetylsalicylic acid, you may have an increased chance of bleeding.
  • medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems (e.g., diltiazem)

The following medicines may reduce the ability of Eliquis to help prevent blood clots from forming:

  • medicines to prevent epilepsy or seizures (e.g., phenytoin, etc.)
  • St John’s Wort (a herbal supplement used for depression)
  • medicines to treat tuberculosis or other infections (e.g., rifampicin)

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice before taking this medicine.

The effects of Eliquis on pregnancy and the unborn child are not known. You should not take Eliquis if you are pregnant. Contact your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Eliquis.

It is not known if Eliquis passes into human breast milk. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice before taking this medicine while breast-feeding. They will advise you to either stop breast-feeding or to stop/not start taking Eliquis.

Driving and using machines

Eliquis has not been shown to impair your ability to drive or use machines.

Eliquis contains lactose (a type of sugar).

If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.

3. How to take Eliquis

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are not sure.

Dose

Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. Eliquis can be taken with or without food.

Try to take the tablets at the same times every day to have the best treatment effect.

If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet whole, talk to your doctor about other ways to take Eliquis. The tablet may be crushed and mixed with water, or 5% dextrose in water, or apple juice or apple puree, immediately before you take it.

Instructions for crushing:

  • Crush the tablets with a pestle and mortar.
  • Transfer all the powder carefully into a suitable container then mix the powder with a little e.g., 30 mL (2 tablespoons), water or one of the other liquids mentioned above to make a mixture.
  • Swallow the mixture.
  • Rinse the pestle and mortar you used for crushing the tablet and the container, with a little water or one of the other liquids (e.g., 30 mL), and swallow the rinse.

If necessary, your doctor may also give you the crushed Eliquis tablet mixed in 60 mL of water or 5% dextrose in water, through a nasogastric tube.

Take Eliquis as recommended for the following:

To prevent a blood clot from forming in the heart in patients with an irregular heart beat and at least one additional risk factor.

The recommended dose is one tablet of Eliquis 5 mg twice a day.

The recommended dose is one tablet of Eliquis 2.5 mg twice a day if:

  • you have severely reduced kidney function
  • two or more of the following apply to you:
    • your blood test results suggest poor kidney function (value of serum creatinine is 1.5 mg/dL (133 micromole/L) or greater)
    • you are 80 years old or older
    • your weight is 60 kg or lower.

The recommended dose is one tablet twice a day, for example, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Your doctor will decide how long you must continue treatment for.

To treat blood clots in the veins of your legs and blood clots in the blood vessels of your lungs

The recommended dose is two tablets of Eliquis 5 mg twice a day for the first 7 days, for example, two in the morning and two in the evening.

After 7 days the recommended dose is one tablet of Eliquis 5 mg twice a day, for example, one in the morning and one in the evening.

For preventing blood clots from re-occurring following completion of 6 months of treatment

The recommended dose is one tablet of Eliquis 2.5 mg twice a day for example, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Your doctor will decide how long you must continue treatment for.

Your doctor might change your anticoagulant treatment as follows:

  • Changing from Eliquis to anticoagulant medicines

Stop taking Eliquis. Start treatment with the anticoagulant medicines (for example heparin) at the time you would have taken the next tablet.

  • Changing from anticoagulant medicines to Eliquis

Stop taking the anticoagulant medicines. Start treatment with Eliquis at the time you would have had the next dose of anticoagulant medicine, then continue as normal.

  • Changing from treatment with anticoagulant containing vitamin K antagonist (e.g., warfarin) to Eliquis

Stop taking the medicine containing a vitamin K antagonist. Your doctor needs to do blood-measurements and instruct you when to start taking Eliquis.

  • Changing from Eliquis to anticoagulant treatment containing vitamin K antagonist (e.g., warfarin).

If your doctor tells you that you have to start taking the medicine containing a vitamin K antagonist, continue to take Eliquis for at least 2 days after your first dose of the medicine containing a vitamin K antagonist. Your doctor needs to do blood-measurements and instruct you when to stop taking Eliquis.

If you take more Eliquis than you should

Tell your doctor immediately if you have taken more than the prescribed dose of Eliquis. Take the medicine pack with you, even if there are no tablets left.

If you take more Eliquis than recommended, you may have an increased risk of bleeding. If bleeding occurs, surgery or blood transfusions may be required.

If you forget to take Eliquis

  • Take the dose as soon as you remember and:
    • take the next dose of Eliquis at the usual time
    • then continue as normal.

If you are not sure what to do or have missed more than one dose, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

If you stop taking Eliquis

Do not stop taking Eliquis without talking to your doctor first, because the risk of developing a blood clot could be higher if you stop treatment too early.

If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

4. Possible side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The most common general side effect of Eliquis is bleeding which may be potentially life threatening and require immediate medical attention.

The following side effects are known if you take Eliquis to prevent a blood clot from forming in the heart in patients with an irregular heart beat and at least one additional risk factor.

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

Bleeding including:

  • in your eyes
  • in your stomach, bowel or dark/black blood in the stools
  • blood found in the urine on laboratory testing
  • from your nose
  • from your gums
  • bruising and swelling

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)

Bleeding including:

  • in your brain or in your spinal column
  • in your mouth or blood in your spit when coughing
  • into your abdomen, into the rectum or from the vagina
  • bright/red blood in the stools
  • bleeding occurring after any operation including bruising and swelling, blood or liquid leaking from the surgical wound/incision (wound secretion) or injection site
  • Itching
  • Allergic reactions (hypersensitivity) which may cause: swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue and/or throat and difficulty breathing. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)

  • bleeding in your lungs or your throat
  • bleeding into the space behind your abdominal cavity

The following side effects are known if you take Eliquis to treat or prevent re-occurrence of blood clots in the veins of your legs and blood clots in the blood vessels of your lungs.

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

Bleeding including:

  • from your nose
  • from your gums
  • blood in the urine (that stains the urine pink or red)
  • bruising and swelling
  • in your stomach, your bowel, into the rectum

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)

Bleeding including:

  • in your eyes and bruise of the eyes
  • in your mouth or blood in your spit when coughing
  • dark/black blood in the stools
  • into the uterus or from the vagina
  • tests showing blood in the stools or in the urine
  • bruising and swelling of a wound or injection site
  • Itching

Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)

  • abnormal tendency to spontaneous bleeding, loss of red blood cells due to bleeding

Bleeding including:

  • in your brain
  • in your abdomen, lungs or in the membrane surrounding the heart

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5. How to store Eliquis

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and on the blister after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

This medicine does not require any special storage conditions.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Eliquis contains

  • The active substance is apixaban. Each tablet contains 5 mg of apixaban.
  • The other ingredients are:
    • Tablet core: lactose anhydrous (see section 2), microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, sodium laurilsulfate, magnesium stearate (E470b).
    • Film coat: lactose monohydrate (see section 2), hypromellose (E464), titanium dioxide (E171), triacetin, red iron oxide (E172).

What Eliquis looks like and contents of the pack

The film coated tablets are pink, oval and marked with “894” on one side and “5” on the other side.

  • They come in blisters in cartons of 14, 20, 28, 56, 60, 168 and 200 film-coated tablets.
  • Unit dose blisters in cartons of 100 x 1 film-coated tablets for delivery in hospitals are also available.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

Patient Alert Card: handling information

Inside the Eliquis pack together with the package leaflet you will find a Patient Alert Card or your doctor might give you a similar card.

This Patient Alert Card includes information that will be helpful to you and alert other doctors that you are taking Eliquis. You should keep this card with you at all times.

1. Take the card

2. Separate your language as needed (this is facilitated by the perforated edges)

3. Complete the following sections or ask your doctor to do it:

  • Name:
  • Birth Date:
  • Indication:
  • Dose : ........mg twice daily
  • Doctor's Name:
  • Doctor's telephone:

4. Fold the card and keep it with you at all times

Marketing Authorisation Holder

Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer EEIG
Bristol-Myers Squibb House
Uxbridge Business Park
Sanderson Road
Uxbridge
Middlesex
UB8 1DH
United Kingdom

Manufacturer

Bristol-Myers Squibb S.r.l
Loc. Fontana del Ceraso
03012 Anagni (FR)
Italy

For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder:

United Kingdom
Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Tel: + 44 (0800) 731 1736

This leaflet was last revised in {02/2017}.

Detailed information on this medicine is available on the European Medicines Agency web site: http://www.ema.europa.eu/.