Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has updated the patient alert card for their anticoagulant apixaban, brand name Eliquis. These important safety documents replace previous versions. The date of the update was April 2020
BMS state: 'Patients prescribed Eliquis (apixaban) will receive a Patient Alert Card in the medication pack with the package leaflet. The card contains important safety information including the importance of taking apixaban regularly as instructed by the doctor, the main signs and symptoms of bleeding and when to seek medical attention. As the card contains important information, the patient should be instructed to carry the Patient Alert Card at all times and show it to every healthcare professional including pharmacists.'
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About Eliquis (source EMA)
Eliquis is a medicine used to prevent venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the veins) in adults following a hip or knee replacement operation. It is also used in adults to treat deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg) and pulmonary embolism (clot in a blood vessel supplying the lungs), and to prevent their reoccurrence.
Additionally, Eliquis is used to prevent stroke (caused by blood clots in the brain) and blood clots in other organs in adults with atrial fibrillation (irregular rapid contractions of the upper chambers of the heart). It is used in patients who have one or more risk factors, such as having had a previous stroke, having high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure or being 75 years old or over.
Patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery, who have had a recent trauma, or are confined to bed are at a high risk of blood clots forming in the veins, which can be dangerous and even fatal if they move to another part of the body such as the lungs. Similarly, patients with atrial fibrillation are at high risk of clots forming in the heart, which can reach the brain where they can cause a stroke.
The active substance in Eliquis, apixaban, is a ‘factor Xa inhibitor’. This means that it blocks factor Xa, an enzyme that is involved in the production of thrombin. Thrombin is central to the process of blood clotting. By blocking factor Xa, it reduces the levels of thrombin in the blood, which reduces the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries and veins.
Eliquis was first made available in the EU in 2011. It is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
European Medicines Agency website page for Eliquis
Links available in External Resources
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions (side effects) after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals or patients are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
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About Atrial fibrillation
About Pulmonary embolism
About Venous thrombotic event