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Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 3/06/2022

Eliquis (Apixaban) and Alcohol Interaction: Can You Drink Alcohol with Eliquis?

What are the Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Eliquis?

Some of the most common side effects of eliquis are:

  1. Bleeding that is harder or takes longer to stop
  2. Nausea
  3. Dizziness or lightheadedness
  4. Easy bruising

Nausea and dizziness are symptoms of both eliquis and alcohol consumption and can become amplified when the two drugs are used in conjunction. Mixing alcohol and eliquis can make it difficult to determine which drug is causing the side effect and to exactly what extent it is occurring.

How Does Eliquis and Alcohol Affect Blood?

While commonly referred to as a blood thinner, eliquis is an anticoagulant, meaning that it lowers your blood’s ability to form clots.

Studies on the effect of alcohol on the blood have a wide range of outcomes, all of which have the potential for serious health complications. Some studies state that excessive alcohol intake can increase your chance of forming serious blood clots, while others state that moderate alcohol intake can lower the body’s chance of forming clots. With this wide range of potential outcomes, if you are being prescribed an anticoagulant such as eliquis, your level of alcohol consumption could end up being counterproductive to the medication you are taking, or increase your risk for serious bleeds while decreasing your body’s ability to effectively control them.

Do Eliquis and Alcohol Affect the Liver?

Yes, eliquis and alcohol affect the liver. Eliquis and alcohol are both metabolized by the liver. When facing medication and alcohol, the liver will prioritize metabolizing alcohol. By combining the two, you are putting stress on your liver that can cause a delay in your body being able to metabolize the medication, which can lead to situations such as a build-up of the medication in your body, and even toxicity.

Some signs of toxicity or overdose in relation to eliquis are:

  • Bleeding that is unable to be controlled
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the face or tongue

If you are experiencing any of these side effects, you should seek help immediately.

Does Eliquis (Apixaban) Affect the Taste of Alcohol?

There is no evidence to suggest that eliquis affects the taste of alcohol.

Does Eliquis (Apixaban) Affect the Effect of Alcohol?

Yes, eliquis can amplify the effects of alcohol, most notably excessive bleeding.

Eliquis can also act as an appetite suppressant which can result in those taking it experiencing a decreased appetite, lack of hunger, and weight loss. Alcohol is absorbed in a slower rate the longer it stays in the stomach, as it is most quickly absorbed by the small intestine. So, mixing alcohol with eliquis on an empty stomach can result in adverse side effects and amplification of others that may be present.

Can Mixture of Alcohol and Eliquis Lead to Death?

Yes, the mixture of Alcohol and eliquis can lead to death. Consumption of large amounts of alcohol regularly greatly increases the chance for serious bleeds, including stomach and intestinal bleeds, in patients which can lead to death.

Who Should Not Take Alcohol and Eliquis?

No one should take Alcohol and Eliquis, due to the potential risk for stomach and intestinal bleeding. However, those who are at the highest risk for complications are:

Those with:

  1. Atrial Fibrillation
    1. Increased chance of blood clots and possible strokes as a result. Also, the risk increases if you stop taking the medication suddenly.
  2. Epidural or Spinal Anesthesia or spinal puncture
    1. This medication is a blood thinner and increases the chance to form a clot near your spine which can result in becoming paralyzed.
  3. Artificial heart valve(s)
  4. Bleeding or clotting problems
  5. Antiphospholipid syndrome
  6. Liver or kidney disease
  7. Pregnant women
    1. Can cause an increased risk of bleeding during pregnancy and delivery, as well as severe uterine bleeding.

Can I Take Eliquis (Apixaban) with Alcohol While Pregnant?

No, you cannot take eliquis with alcohol during pregnancy. There have been very few studies on the way eliquis affects pregnancy and the fetus. No one should be drinking alcohol during pregnancy as it can result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which can cause life-changing and irreversible developmental issues for the fetus.

Eliquis is not recommended for use during pregnancy and is suspected of causing harmful effects on the fetus, including malformations, that may or may not be reversible.

Additionally, it can cause an increased risk of bleeding during pregnancy as well as during delivery. Those who intend to receive an epidural during delivery should also avoid taking eliquis as it can potentially result in a blood clot on the spine and even paralyzation.

Evidence as to whether or not eliquis can be harmful to a nursing baby is not clear. Therefore, it is not recommended to take eliquis while breastfeeding, and a decision should be made with a doctor to either discontinue the medication (if safe) while breastfeeding or discontinue breastfeeding while taking the medication.

Are all Types of Alcohol Harmful with Eliquis?

Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, with eliquis, is not considered to be inherently harmful, however, consumption of large amounts of alcohol can result in internal bleeds.

How Much Eliquis Can be Dangerous to Take with Alcohol?

It is recommended to avoid alcohol entirely while taking eliquis due to the potential risk factors for internal bleeding. It can be okay to have one drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men, but you should consult your doctor beforehand. 1 drink is considered to be 1 beer, glass of wine, cocktail, or shot.

There is a wide range of studies and outcomes surrounding the effect alcohol has on the blood. Some suggest that consuming more than 2 drinks of alcohol a day can increase the chance of forming blood clots, which is counterproductive to the function of the medication. Other studies, however, have shown a decrease in blood clotting with increased alcohol intake, which then poses an increased risk for more serious bleeds.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Eliquis (Apixaban) will Work?

Moderate alcohol intake should not affect how well eliquis works, but there is a chance that absorption of the medication by the body can be delayed as they are both processed by the liver, and the liver will prioritize alcohol metabolization. Over longer periods, this can result in a build-up of the medication within the body, resulting in situations such as toxicity or overdose.

How Long After Taking Eliquis Can You Drink Alcohol?

Due to Eliquis being an anticoagulant it is recommended that you avoid mixing alcohol with Eliquis; while the alcohol will not specifically affect the effectiveness of eliquis, some studies show that moderate alcohol intake has the potential to decrease blood clotting and lead to more serious internal bleeds. In some cases, specifically in those with alcohol abuse problems, long-term alcohol abuse alongside the use of anticoagulants can decrease the effectiveness of the medication.

What Are Other Drugs That Are Dangerous To Use With Alcohol?

While there are a large number of drugs that should not be taken with alcohol, some of the most dangerous are:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Amphetamines
  • Antidepressants (SSRIs)
  • Opiates
  • Sleep aids (Melatonin)
  • Antihistamines (Benadryl)

Keep in mind that these are only some of the most dangerous drugs to use with alcohol. Any drug has the potential to be dangerous when mixed with alcohol if used incorrectly. If you are unsure of the effects a specific drug may have in combination with alcohol, you should consult a healthcare provider.