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5 Foods to Avoid While on Eliquis in 2024: What to Eat Instead?

Eliquis, also known as Apixaban, is an FDA-approved medication that helps prevent and treat blood clots. This is a serious health concern that affects approximately 900,000 Americans each year. Despite being preventable, these clots lead to nearly 100,000 deaths annually, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). That’s huge, right? 

In today’s time what you eat is as vital as you breathe. Just like the quality of air you take in will determine your body’s health, the same goes for your eating habits. But if you are on blood thinners like Eliquis, eating right becomes most important. Your eating habits can affect how your medication works. Let’s find out those 5 foods you should avoid while taking Eliquis in 2024 and what you can have instead. Also, you can buy Eliquis online from Canada at the lowest price possible.

How Does Eliquis Work?

Eliquis is an anticoagulant that works by blocking a specific enzyme called factor Xa, which is involved in the process of blood clotting. By blocking factor Xa, Eliquis makes blood less likely to clot. This can reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism, which are all caused by blood clots. Eliquis belongs to a group of drugs called direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Now, you might wonder, ‘Why should I avoid certain foods, and how can it impact the effectiveness of Eliquis?’ Keep reading for the answers.

What 5 Foods to Avoid While on Eliquis?

Fortunately, Eliquis is generally not associated with adverse food interactions. Here are five foods you should be aware of while using it:

1. Caffeine

While caffeine itself doesn’t directly interact with Eliquis, many patients who take Eliquis also have coronary artery disease (CAD). Doctors often advise these patients to limit their caffeine intake. This is because caffeine has the potential to slow down the breakdown of Eliquis in the body, which can lead to higher levels of the medication in the blood. When there are higher levels of Eliquis in the blood, its anticoagulant (blood-thinning) effects can be more potent. So, it’s recommended that patients reduce their consumption of caffeine-rich products like tea and coffee when they are on Eliquis therapy.

[CAD: It is a condition where the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart become narrowed or blocked by plaque.]

2. High-Fat Foods

A diet that includes a lot of fast food, fatty foods, or red meat can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in your blood vessels. This can increase the chances of heart disease and stroke. Overeating foods containing fats can also lead to problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. So, eating less fat and eating low-fat diets is a good idea. 

Processed carbohydrates, like sugary foods, can harm your metabolism, so it’s better to choose diets that are lower in carbohydrates or even follow a ketogenic diet with a high-fat content for better health. Additionally, being overweight raises the risk of stroke and blood clots. People who are obese and consume a lot of fat are more likely to be prescribed a medication called Eliquis.

3. Vitamin K-Rich Foods

Research indicates that vitamin K can interact negatively with the medication apixaban in your body. This is because vitamin K supplements or foods rich in vitamin K can make your blood thicker, while apixaban is meant to thin the blood and dissolve blood clots. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid foods high in vitamin K, such as green tea, cranberry juice, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and grapefruit juice, when taking apixaban.

Additionally, grapefruit juice contains substances that can interfere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications, potentially leading to increased bleeding in some patients. Following a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and foods rich in soluble fiber is advisable. Soluble fiber has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, known as atherosclerosis.

4. Drinking Alcohol

Drinking beverages with alcohol may increase the risk of internal bleeding by causing irritation in the stomach and intestinal lining. Even a tiny amount of it can alter blood’s natural clotting process by reducing the clumping of platelets, as alcohol itself works as a blood thinner. Consuming too much alcohol can increase the chances of falls and subsequent internal bleeding, especially when on anticoagulants such as Eliquis. Additionally, regular consumption exceeding two servings daily may raise the clot formation risks. The American Blood Clot Association advises people with clotting disorders to be highly cautious with the consumption of alcohol. While avoiding alcohol during Eliquis treatment is advisable, occasionally indulging in a small quantity may not pose significant risks.

5. Grapefruit and Grapefruit Juice

Another food to be cautious about while taking Eliquis is grapefruit and its juice. It contains natural compounds known as furanocoumarins, which can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize certain medications, including Eliquis. This interference can lead to elevated drug levels in the bloodstream, increasing the risk of side effects or complications.

When you consume fruit and its juice while on this medication, it inhibits the enzyme CYP3A4 in the liver, which is responsible for metabolizing the medication. As a result, the drug remains in the bloodstream for a more extended period than intended, potentially leading to an increased risk of bleeding. To avoid any potential complications, it’s recommended to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice altogether while taking Eliquis. Instead, choose alternative fruits and beverages that do not interact with the medication.

What Are the Best Foods to Eat While on Eliquis?

Now that we know what to avoid when on the medication Eliquis, it is time to learn what foods to include in your diet. Fueling your body with a healthy diet will keep your heart and overall health in excellent shape while on Eliquis. One perfect choice is to focus on a diet filled with plant-based foods, like Mediterranean. When planning your meals, make sure to include:

1. Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits and veggies is a real win for your health! They are packed with fiber and essential nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and potassium. In addition, they have antioxidants, which are like the body’s defenders against inflammation and help you stay young for a longer time. But the benefits don’t stop there! They have other benefits and it is to keep your arteries clean from plaque buildup. This means you’re less likely to have heart problems like strokes and heart attacks. So, munching on your greens and fruits is a tasty and smart way to keep your heart beating strong!

2. Legumes and Lean protein

Legumes, including lentils and beans, are rich in dietary fiber. This type of fiber is really good for managing LDL cholesterol, which is the “not-so-good” kind. Lower LDL levels mean less fatty buildup in your arteries, keeping them clear for healthy blood flow. Now, when we talk about protein, it’s better to choose sources with less saturated fat. Options like lean cuts of beef and pork, chicken without the skin, and fish are excellent choices. They provide the protein you need without the extra saturated fat you’re better off avoiding.

3. Heart-Healthy Fats (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your heart! They work by keeping blood platelets from clumping together, which helps prevent the formation of blood clots. You can find these fats in:

  • Fish that are rich in oil, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel
  • Walnuts
  • Cod liver oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Oysters

However, be cautious when combining high doses of omega-3s with Eliquis, as it may increase your risk of severe bleeding. So, before you consider omega-3 or fish oil supplements, consult them and get a diet plan from your healthcare provider. They can guide you on what’s safe and what’s not!

What Else Should You Avoid While Taking Eliquis?

Herbs and Supplements Caution

When it comes to herbal medications and supplements, it’s essential to exercise caution, as the FDA does not regulate them like prescription medications. So, it’s become hard to find if they interact with prescription drugs. Discussing this situation with your doctor before taking herbal or vitamin supplements, especially if you have liver or kidney issues, is essential. Some herbs like ginger, turmeric, ginkgo biloba, and certain Chinese herbs may increase bleeding risk when combined with Eliquis. Additionally, St. John’s wort may reduce the effectiveness of Eliquis.

Avoid Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

If you’re taking Eliquis, you should be cautious when taking certain pain relief medications known as NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (found in Advil) or naproxen (found in Aleve). Although these pain relievers are common, they can increase the risk of bleeding if taken with Eliquis. NSAIDs can affect blood clotting by changing how platelets work. This leads to a higher chance of bleeding, particularly in the stomach and intestines. When you combine NSAIDs with Eliquis, this risk increases even more and needs a doctor’s supervision.

[NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are widely used medications that help in reducing inflammation, relieve pain, and bring down a high temperature.]

What Makes Eliquis Better Than Other Blood Thinners?

Eliquis is a type of blood thinner that belongs to a class of drugs called direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). These drugs work by blocking a specific enzyme called factor Xa, which is involved in the process of blood clotting. Eliquis may have some advantages over other blood thinners, such as:

  • Unlike warfarin, which is another common blood thinner, it does not require regular blood tests to monitor its effect.
  • Unlike warfarin, it has fewer interactions with other drugs and foods, which can be affected by many factors, such as vitamin K intake, antibiotics, and herbal supplements.
  • It may cause fewer bleeding complications, such as intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), than warfarin and some other DOACs.

Can Eliquis Cause Gastrointestinal (GI) Problems?

While on Eliquis, it is crucial to watch for signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening side effect. Look out for red blood in or on the stool, which may indicate bleeding in the colon (large intestine), or black stool, which could signal bleeding in the upper GI tract, including the esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine. If you observe either of these symptoms, contact your doctor promptly. Some of the possible gastrointestinal problems that Eliquis can cause are:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Rectal hemorrhage
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

These side effects may not occur in everyone who takes Eliquis and may vary in severity and frequency. Some of them may be mild and temporary, while others may be serious and require medical attention. You should talk to your doctor if you experience any of these side effects. They will adjust your dose or suggest ways to manage your symptoms.

How Long Does Eliquis Stay in Your Body?

The effects of Eliquis typically subside within 1 to 2 days after discontinuation, although bleeding events may still occur during this period. If you anticipate a surgical procedure or any medical intervention with a risk of bleeding, your healthcare provider may advise discontinuing Eliquis 24 to 48 hours before the scheduled procedure. This precaution allows sufficient time for Eliquis to clear from your system.

What Is the Onset Time for Eliquis?

Eliquis begins its therapeutic action a few hours after the initial dose, reaching full concentration in the body after approximately 4 hours. However, achieving optimal and stable levels takes around three days. 

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Wrapping It Up

While taking Eliquis in 2024, being mindful of your diet is important. Avoid foods high in vitamin K, like kale and spinach, grapefruit, cranberries, alcohol, and green tea, as they can interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. Instead, opt for a balanced diet rich in varied fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. It’s always best to discuss this with your doctor or a nutrition expert. They can give you a personalized food map based on your health, lifestyle, and how you’re responding to Eliquis. Remember, everyone’s different, and what works for one person might not work for another. So, keep that communication open, stay informed, and here’s to your health – cheers to keeping it balanced and safe!

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