Eliquis and Plavix: A Comparison

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS


Doctors consider many factors when choosing the best treatment for an illness. Deciding which medication to prescribe a patient can be the difference between life and death. Eliquis is an anticoagulant and Plavix is an antiplatelet medication.

Knowing information about Eliquis and Plavix can help determine the best medication. Understanding the possible side effects and medication interactions for each is helpful. This helps doctors better treat their patients.

What is Eliquis?

Eliquis is the brand name for the medication apixaban. Eliquis works to prevent the blood from clotting unnecessarily. It causes specific substances in the blood to stop making clots. This decreases the risks of certain cardiac conditions as well as strokes.

When appropriately taken, Eliquis can help prevent blood clots from forming in the body. Clotting in the lungs is known as pulmonary embolism (PE). Clots that form in the legs are deep vein thrombosis (or DVT).

PEs and DVTs can form for many reasons, such as:

  • Post-surgical procedure (like hip replacement)
  • Resulting from trauma
  • Genetic predisposition

Side Effects

As with any medication, it is vital to know the potential side effects of Eliquis. Symptoms may range from very mild to severe. Ask a doctor or pharmacist for a complete list before beginning this medication.

Consult with a medical professional immediately if experiencing atypical symptoms. They can include (but are not limited to):

  • Being easily bruised
  • Lowered red blood cells (anemia)
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Typical allergic reaction symptoms (such as trouble breathing or developing hives)
  • Higher risk of blood clots forming when medication is stopped


The dosages for Eliquis vary. Doctors will need to know why someone is taking this medication. Also, they will need a complete list of all other medicines taken.

This medicine is typically administered by an oral route. It can be given as either a 2.5 or 5 mg tablet. Medical professionals will determine the appropriate dose to take. This is based on the reason for the prescription among other factors.

If a patient misses a dose, they should call their pharmacist for advice. However, do not take more than one dose at once, as this could lead to severe bleeding.

What is Plavix?

Plavix is an anticoagulant medication. It stops blood platelets from becoming artery-blocking blood clots.

Doctors prescribe Plavix to help patients in preventing serious illnesses. Examples include:

  • Decrease the risks of stroke
  • Prevent blood clots
  • Stop angina (chest pain)
  • Control dangerous heart conditions stemming from heart attacks
  • Improve blood circulation

People who experience stomach ulcers should be cautious when taking Plavix. This medication can make ulcers worse.

Side Effects

The side effects known to occur among people taking Plavix can range from mild to severe. Unusual reactions can have serious consequences. Patients should discuss symptoms with medical professionals for their safety.

Side effects can include:

  • Excess bleeding (like having a nosebleed that won’t stop)
  • Increased bruising
  • Being feverish
  • Nausea
  • Feeling confused
  • Skin itching and rashes


Plavix doses vary. Doctors will determine the dosing based on the reason for the need. They will also consider a comprehensive list of all medications being regularly taken.

This medicine is typically administered orally in a 75 mg or 300 mg dose. Medical professionals will determine the appropriate dose to take. This decision is based on the reason for the prescription.

Patients should take their medicine as soon as possible if a dose is missed. However, taking more than one dose at a time can cause serious side effects. Always follow the doctor’s prescription instructions.

Potential Interactions for Eliquis and Plavix

Patient safety is the primary concern of medical professionals. Eliquis and Plavix are known to interact with other medications.

For this reason, doctors and pharmacists need complete lists of the patient’s medicines. This includes vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs.

The following list contains some of the medicines that may cause interactions. Their effectiveness and side effects should be closely monitored.

Cautions About Anticoagulants and Antiplatelets

Know the risks associated with anticoagulants like Eliquis (apixaban) and Plavix (clopidogrel). Cautions to consider include:

  • Follow directions: There are many ways these drugs can be prescribed. Doses and administration routes may vary. Many drugs have specific recommendations. They may indicate foods that can or cannot be eaten. They may even tell particular times to take the medication. Patients should follow the doctor’s instructions carefully for maximum effects.
  • Severe bleeding: An anticoagulant lowers the body’s clotting abilities. Extra caution should be taken to ensure the bleeding stops if a patient has an injury or gets cut. Call 911 or seek immediate emergency medical attention if the bleeding will not stop.
  • Special precautions: Anticoagulant and antiplatelet prescriptions may need to be paused before dental work or any surgical procedure. This action is done at the discretion and direction of medical professionals. The main reason for this is to minimize the danger of uncontrolled bleeding.

Taking Anticoagulants or Antiplatelets Long Term

Many patients wonder how long they will need to take these medications. The answer to that is as individual as each patient.

Some people can stop taking Eliquis and Plavix after only a short time has passed. For instance, if the medicine was used to prevent blood clots during a surgical procedure. Once the danger of clotting has passed, doctors may discontinue this medicine.

There are those, however, who need to take anticoagulants longer. For those with blood clotting disorders, these medications will be lifelong. If this prospect causes distress, it is important to discuss those feelings with a doctor.

The Rx Advocates is Ready to Help Save Money on Necessary Prescriptions

Doctors and pharmacists know the importance of prescribing the correct medicine to treat an illness. Having the proper dosage and use of medication can be the difference between life and death.

Patients should never be unable to receive the medicine they need because of the cost. In particular, Eliquis and Plavix are anticoagulants that offer hope to many. However, the price may be out of reach.

If you have been prescribed either of these medications and cannot afford the cost, we can help. At The Rx Advocates, we focus on providing patients with their monthly medicines. Working with patient assistance programs, we keep your best interest in mind. We do all that we can to ensure affordable pricing for all.

If you need help receiving discounted costs for your prescriptions, contact us today.

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