As we age, we become more susceptible to various health conditions that require medication. One such medication is Eliquis, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots in people with conditions such as atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis. However, like all medications, Eliquis has its side effects, especially in elderly patients. In this article, we will discuss the common side effects of Eliquis in elderly patients and what you need to know about them.
What is Eliquis?
Eliquis is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as anticoagulants or blood thinners. It works by blocking specific clotting proteins in the blood, reducing the risk of blood clots. Eliquis is commonly prescribed to elderly patients with atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.
Common Side Effects of Eliquis in Elderly Patients
Bleeding is the most common side effect of Eliquis in elderly patients. Since Eliquis is a blood thinner, it can increase the risk of bleeding in both minor and major injuries. The elderly are more prone to falls, bruises, and other injuries, which can lead to bleeding. It is essential to monitor any signs of bleeding, such as unexplained bruising, red or black stools, or blood in the urine or vomit. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Anemia is another common side effect of Eliquis in elderly patients. Anemia occurs when there is a decrease in red blood cells in the body, leading to fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and pale skin. Elderly patients are more prone to anemia, and Eliquis can exacerbate this condition. It is essential to monitor your hemoglobin levels regularly and report any symptoms of anemia to your doctor.
Headaches are a common side effect of Eliquis in elderly patients. It can be due to the medication’s impact on the blood vessels, leading to headaches, dizziness, and lightheadedness. If you experience persistent headaches, consult your doctor to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
Stomach upset is another side effect of Eliquis in elderly patients. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. To minimize stomach upset, take Eliquis with food or as directed by your doctor. If you experience persistent stomach upset, seek medical attention.
Other Side Effects
Other side effects of Eliquis in elderly patients include difficulty breathing, chest pain, swelling in the legs, and skin rash. These side effects are less common but can be severe. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Precautions for Elderly Patients Taking Eliquis
Before taking Eliquis, it is essential to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have, such as liver or kidney disease. Eliquis can interact with other medications, so make sure to tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. It is also essential to inform your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are scheduled for any surgical procedures.
Eliquis is an essential medication for elderly patients with conditions such as atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism. However, like all medications, it can have side effects, especially in elderly patients. It is essential to monitor any signs of side effects, report them to your doctor, and take precautions when taking Eliquis. By doing so, you can manage your condition effectively and improve your quality of life.