Xarelto Vs. Eliquis: Which Anticoagulant is Better?

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Last Updated: October 5, 2021

It is estimated that more than 2 million people currently take anticoagulants to help them avoid getting dangerous and potentially deadly blood clots. Medications like Xarelto and Eliquis are very common, but it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.

Here, we take a closer look at both Xarelto and Eliquis to see what makes them similar and what makes them different. It could be that one of these medications is appropriate to meet your needs.

 

What is Xarelto? 

Xarelto is a prescription medication that can be used to treat and prevent blood clots. This medication is also a Factor Xa inhibitor, which can be taken to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis can lead to a pulmonary embolism.

Xarelto has a few benefits over other anticoagulant medications. They include: 

  • Studies indicate that Xarelto is just as effective as other anticoagulants. 
  • This medication does not require frequent blood tests to check levels. 
  • This medication does not require frequent dose changes. 
  • Xarelto does not interact with as many different types of foods as some other anticoagulants like warfarin.

 

Xarelto Side Effects

Like other medications, Xarelto does have side effects. It is important to know what they are before taking this medication. The most common side effects of Xarelto include: 

  • Increased risk of minor or major bleeding

It is also possible for people to experience some of the more serious side effects of Xarelto, which include:

  • A spinal or epidural hematoma if taken during spinal procedures
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Headaches
  • Heavy menstrual periods for women
  • Urine that is red, pink or brown in color
  • Black or bloody stools
  • Tingling and muscle weakness particularly in the legs and feet
  • An allergic reaction that includes hives, itching, a rash, and possibly trouble breathing. 

 

What Drugs Interact with Xarelto?

There are several drugs that interact with Xarelto. If you are taking this medication, it is important for you to know what to avoid. These medications may include:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Meloxicam
  • Naproxen
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Warfarin

There are also various disease interactions with Xarelto, including:

  • Renal disease
  • Hepatic impairment
  • Bleeding
  • Valvular heart disease

 

How Should Xarelto be Taken? 

Xarelto is typically prescribed at 20 mg, and it is recommended to take it once a day with food. A lot of people appreciate the convenience of only having to take their medication once a day.

 

What is Eliquis? 

Eliquis is a medication that can be taken for several reasons. It has been shown to block clotting substances in the blood as well as lower the risk of blood clots and strokes in people with atrial fibrillation. It can also lower the risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs of people who have had hip or knee surgery.

This medication can be used to treat blood clots in the veins of the legs (this is called deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). It can also lower the risk of these issues occurring again in the future.

 

Eliquis Side Effects

There are many potential side effects that people may experience when taking Eliquis. Some of them include:

  • Increased risk of minor and major bleeding

The serious side effects of Eliquis can include:

  • A spinal or epidural hematoma if taken during spinal procedures
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Heavy menstrual periods for women
  • Urine that is red, pink or brown in color
  • Black or bloody stools
  • An allergic reaction that includes hives, itching, a rash, and possibly trouble breathing

 

What Drugs Interact with Eliquis?

There are many drugs that interact with Eliquis, and so, they should be avoided. These drugs include: 

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Meloxicam
  • Naproxen
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Warfarin

There are also three disease interactions with Eliquis, which are: 

  • Valvular heart disease
  • Bleeding
  • Hepatic impairment

 

How Should Eliquis Be Taken? 

Most patients take Eliquis 5 mg twice a day. But 2.5 mg twice a day may be recommended for people who: 

  • Are at the age of 80 or older, and
  • Have a body weight that is at or greater than 60 kg, and
  • Have serum creatinine levels that are at or higher than 1.5 mg/dL

 

Eliquis Vs. Xarelto: Which is the Better Anticoagulant? 

Both Eliquis and Xarelto are excellent medications, and one of them might be more appropriate for certain people than the other.

People tend to like Eliquis because it does not require regular blood testing like some other anticoagulant. You also do not have to worry as much about your diet when you are taking Eliquis. If you have had blood clots in your legs in the past, Eliquis can help lower the risk of them forming again.

But Eliquis does have its downsides as well. This medication can be expensive, and there is no generic available. Taking too much of this medication can also lead to bleeding, which can be harder to treat than with other anticoagulants. If you cut yourself, it can take longer to stop the bleeding, and you could have internal bleeding without even realizing it.

Xarelto is often a favorite because it is only taken once a day, does not require blood tests periodically, and also does not require frequent dosage changes. This medication also does not interact with as many types of foods as warfarin does.

Unfortunately, Xarelto is also rather expensive, and in the event of severe side effects, please know there may be no way to reverse them. This is important to consider before committing to taking this medication.

 

The Rx Advocates Can Help Pay for Both Xarelto and Eliquis

Medications like Xarelto and Eliquis are essential for your quality of life. But they can be expensive, especially if you have to pay for your medications out of pocket.

At The Rx Advocates, we often help people to be able to afford their prescription medications, which can vastly improve the quality of their lives. If you need assistance with paying for your Xarelto or Eliquis prescription, please get in touch with us so we can help you.

We work with patient prescription programs to help you get deep discounts on all of your brand-name prescription medications. We are here to help and lighten some of your financial burdens. Please contact us today to learn more.

 

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