WHAT IS ELIQUIS?
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.
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.