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Eliquis vs. Traditional Anticoagulants: A Comparative Analysis of Safety and Efficacy

Eliquis vs. Traditional Anticoagulants: A Comparative Analysis of Safety and Efficacy

Eliquis is an anticoagulant that mainly works as a blood thinner.

Anticoagulants are drugs that are also known as blood thinners. But they do not cause thinning of the blood. Instead, they can help prevent clots to form. Eliquis, Warfarin, Rivaroxaban, Dabigatran, and Edoxaban are some of the well-known anticoagulants.

By preventing blood clotting, these drugs lower all risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis apart from other clotting disorders. Cardiologists usually prescribe them. All these blood thinners are not the same. For example, Eliquis drug belongs to factor Xa inhibitors, a group of medications whereas; Warfarin is a vitamin K antagonist. Read along to know more.


Is Eliquis the same as Warfarin?

Eliquis and Warfarin are anticoagulants. You can use them for preventing or treating blood clots. Although both are anticoagulants, they are not similar. These two drugs work in different ways. They have differences with respect to dosage, monitoring needs, and drug interaction. They cause bleeding as the most common side effect. But other Eliquis side effects are different.


Is Eliquis better than Warfarin?

According to a study, Eliquis generic was found to be more effective compared to the other anticoagulant. It also causes lesser bleeding episodes. It does not need monitoring, comes with very less drug interaction and Eliquis is never affected by intake of vitamin K. But since each person has a unique medical history, a doctor can only determine which anticoagulant would be more effective for an individual.


Main differences between these drugs


Eliquis dosage is FDA approved for:

  1. Reducing the risk of stroke and systemic embolism risk in people having non-valvular atrial fibrillation
  2. Preventing deep vein thrombosis after knee or hip replacement surgery
  3. Treating pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
  4. Lowering the risk of recurrence of both pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis


Warfarin dosage is FDA approved for:

  1. Preventing and treating pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis
  2. Preventing and treating complications from cardiac valve replacement and atrial fibrillation
  3. Lowering the risk of recurrent heart attack, clothing events like stoke, after a heart attack and death risk

You must remember that Warfarin will not treat any established blood clot or reverse any tissue damage. Once a clot occurs, you can use this drug for preventing the clot to grow and to stop complications that can be fatal or serious.


Rivaroxaban is FDA approved for:


  1. Preventing blood clots in those adults who have been hospitalized with any acute medical condition and are at blood clot risk.
  2. Preventing blood clots causing a stroke, heart attack, or death in any adult with chromic peripheral or coronary artery disease.
  3. Treating or helping prevent blood clots in kids.
  4. Helping prevent blood clots in some kids who have already had a certain procedure for congenital heart diseases.


How can you be safe while using this drug?


Using a blood thinner such as Eliquis can make a person more likely to bleed. Thus you must take a few steps to stop bleeding. Here are a few tips:

  • Get urgent medical help if you hit your head or fall. Even if you do not bleed, you may start bleeding under your skin or in the skull.
  • Be alert when you use any sharp object such as a knife, scissors, or razor. For safety use an electric razor.
  • In the case of dental care, make use of waxed floss or a soft toothbrush. Do not use toothpicks
  • Do not carry on activities that may cause injury. Talk with your doctor regarding the type of exercise that will be suitable for you like walking or swimming.
  • For any foot care, be alert when you cut your toenails. Never trim calluses.
  • Wear suitable gloves when you work outside using any sharp tool or in the yard.


How do they work?

There is a constant balance between the process of clotting and anti-clotting. If enough blood clot does not take place, any injury may cause extreme loss of blood or even death. If too much clot happens, it can cause severe medical conditions. Some blood components keep the process of clotting in an inactive state.

Thus, your body can quickly activate them when you have any injury that requires repair. 

Due to this balancing act, clotting is generally a beneficial process. It will stop bleeding, create a protective covering for keeping debris and germs out of your wound, and then rebuild your skin so that it is good as completely new. Blood clotting happens to stop your bleeding. If clots enter into the blood vessels, they cause a stroke or heart attack. Anticoagulants such as Eliquis stop blood clots. They work and interfere with the normal process of clotting.

They prevent coagulation or undo it. Depending on the anticoagulant type, the process of clotting disruption takes place in various ways. They are unable to break up already-formed clots. But these drugs may not prevent any existing clot from becoming bigger.


Who can use these drugs?


Eliquis blood thinner or other anticoagulants are used by people:

  • Having atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat
  • If you are having artificial heart valves
  • Having heart diseases like cardiomyopathy
  • Having a risk of developing a blood clot



Frequently asked questions


Can I use anticoagulants if I am pregnant?


Your doctor will suggest using Eliquis anticoagulant during pregnancy only if the benefits of this drug outweigh all risks associated with it. It is possible only during some high-risk conditions. But other anticoagulants such as Warfarin should not be taken by pregnant women.

There are some exceptions such as pregnant women having mechanical heart valves and those at high clot risk and if the doctor determined this drug to be effective. You must discuss with your doctor if you are pregnant or have plans of becoming pregnant.


Can I use these drugs with alcohol?

Eliquis and alcohol must be avoided. You should drink alcohol while using any blood thinner. This is because alcohol can cause blood thinning. So if combined with an anticoagulant, the bleeding risk is higher when you have alcohol. Some doctors may allow you to have a small amount. But each people come with a different medical condition. So you must ask your doctor for alcohol and blood thinner use.


How long can I use these drugs?

It usually depends on the drug you are using and how your doctor asked you to use it. Most injectable anticoagulants and IVs are not recommended for long-term use. But you can use a lot of anticoagulants orally for a longer time. Based on which one your doctor recommends, you may be able to use it for a long time.


Can kids use this drug?

Eliquis use is not approved in kids. It is not clear if this drug is effective or safe to treat or prevent blood clots in kids. Ask your doctor if it should be used or not.



There are various blood thinners available for preventing and treating blood clots.  Eliquis is a popular alternative to other anticoagulants because of its improved effectiveness and excellent safety profile for its FDA-approved indication. But the best anticoagulant for any individual and your specific condition must be decided by a doctor after a proper diagnosis.

The right one for you will depend on a few factors like some drugs are used only in certain conditions such as preventing blood clots after surgery. So your doctor will determine the best option after understanding why you must use a blood thinner. Your doctor will work with you and determine the best option to treat your condition.


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