The medicine apixaban is a blood thinner and if you are taking it it is probably because you are at high risk of having blood clots or having a stroke. Therefore, you should not stop taking this medicine without first talking to the healthcare professional who is treating you. With this in mind, you may need to switch to another treatment due to unwanted side effects or temporarily stop taking apixaban before surgery. Whatever the reason, talk to your doctor before doing anything.
Method 1 of 3: Stop taking apixaban because of surgery
Step 1. Do not stop taking the drug without a doctor's order
Keep taking it until your doctor tells you to stop. Suddenly stopping taking apixaban can cause serious problems. For example, you could have blood clots or a stroke, which will cause severe damage. Always take the advice of your doctor first.
Step 2. Stop taking apixaban 1 or 2 days before any medical procedure
In general, you should stop taking this medicine one day before most medical procedures, such as surgery or dental procedures. However, you should consult your doctor before stopping taking this medicine. They can tell you what to do before the procedure. Talk to the surgeon first, but it is also advisable to discuss this with your doctor.
- If the procedure carries an increased risk of bleeding, you may need to stop taking the medicine two days before the operation.
- Among the surgeries that carry a higher risk of bleeding are coronary artery bypass grafting and kidney biopsy. Additionally, any surgery that lasts longer than 45 minutes falls into this category.
- Cholecystectomy, abdominal hysterectomy, and carpal tunnel surgery are examples of safer operations.
Step 3. Stop taking apixaban
Do this if you have high serum creatinine. If your level is above 1.5 mg / dL, you should leave the medicine two days before a procedure with a risk of normal bleeding. If this risk is high, you should stop taking it three days earlier.
You can determine your serum creatinine level from a blood test that your doctor may do. Normally, this test is only needed if you have kidney problems. In this case, you should probably check these rates regularly
Step 4. Do not replace it with another medicine
Usually you will not need any other medicine or device that will help you stop the clotting between the time you stop taking apixaban and the procedure. However, talk to your doctor to see if this is right for you.
Step 5. Start taking apixaban again after the operation
At the end of the surgery, you can take the medicine again. However, wait until all bleeding has stopped and the blood is clotting properly before starting to take it again. Your surgeon or the healthcare professional who is treating you must give you their approval.
Method 2 of 3: Switch the drug to an alternative
Step 1. Switch to another medication or device, if necessary
If you can't take apixaban for some reason, you will probably need to go for an alternative. The solution may be the coumaphene or a device known as the Watchman.
Step 2. Try Watchman if blood thinners don't work
This medical device enters your left atrial appendage, where blood clots usually form and prevent them from escaping from that area as it closes. However, since medical procedures can be risky, you should continue to use a blood thinner like apixaban if it works for you instead of changing it.
- The Watchman device is a catheter that passes through a vein in the leg and extends to the heart. It has been shown to be as effective as coumaphene in preventing blood clots.
- Normally you should stop taking any blood thinners just for the procedure and then continue for a month and a half after inserting the Watchman. This is the time it takes for the procedure to completely close the area that could release blood clots.
Step 3. Consider taking coumaphene
It is an older drug than apixaban, but it works well in some people. When switching to coumaphene, start taking it straight away, but on the third day after taking it for the first time, you should stop taking apixaban.
Coumaphene may have side effects similar to those of apixaban, including bloody vomiting, joint pain, weakness, dizziness, bruising, blood in the urine or stool, and severe bleeding
Method 3 of 3: Watch out for side effects that require you to stop taking apixaban
Step 1. Watch for signs of internal bleeding
Since apixaban is a blood thinner, one of its side effects is internal bleeding. For example, you may find that your urine, vomit, or stool is very dark or red, indicating the presence of blood. Likewise, if you stop taking the medicine and do not stop bleeding after ten minutes, this is also a significant side effect.
- Go to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms.
- Other side effects may include heavy periods or the unexplained appearance of bruising, although these are not very serious. In this case, you do not have to go urgently, but you should call the healthcare professional who is treating you.
Step 2. Watch for signs of an allergic reaction
Apixaban can also cause an allergic reaction. You may experience chest pain, dizziness, swelling of your face or tongue, or difficulty breathing.
If you experience these symptoms, contact the emergency service immediately
Step 3. See if you have any signs of a stroke
Apixaban may increase your risk of stroke, especially if you stop taking it suddenly. Some of the signs of this disease include headache, loss of vision, dizziness, weakness in limbs, languor in the face, difficulty speaking.
Call the emergency service if you have any of these symptoms
Step 4. Watch out for falls that cause a bump on the head
Severe falls, especially when you hit your head, are a major problem if you are taking apixaban. You are more likely to have internal bleeding if you fall while taking this medicine. Always watch out for the most serious falls and go to the emergency room, just in case.
Step 5. Watch for unexpected swelling and pain
Another serious side effect of this medication could be swelling or sudden pain throughout the body. Be especially careful of any sudden discomfort in the joints. These symptoms also require a visit to the emergency department.
This side effect can be caused by internal bleeding
Step 6. Talk to your doctor about stopping taking apixaban
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may need to stop taking the medicine. However, you should do this under the supervision of your doctor, as stopping treatment suddenly may increase your chances of having a stroke or causing a blood clot.