Eliquis, also known by its generic name apixaban, is a medication commonly prescribed to prevent blood clots in people with certain medical conditions. While it is highly effective in reducing the risk of strokes and blood clots, some individuals may experience constipation as a side effect. In this article, we will explore the relationship between Eliquis and constipation, and provide some tips on how to manage this issue.
Eliquis belongs to a class of medications known as anticoagulants, or blood thinners. It works by inhibiting specific clotting factors in the blood, thus preventing the formation of blood clots. This medication is commonly prescribed to individuals with atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism, as it significantly reduces the risk of these potentially life-threatening conditions.
Constipation as a Side Effect
While Eliquis is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience constipation as a side effect. Constipation refers to infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stools. It can be accompanied by symptoms such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.
The exact mechanism by which Eliquis may cause constipation is not fully understood. However, it is believed to be related to the medication’s effects on platelets and blood clotting factors. These effects can potentially slow down the movement of the digestive system, leading to constipation.
If you are taking Eliquis and experiencing constipation, there are several steps you can take to manage this side effect:
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help soften the stool and promote regular bowel movements. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
2. Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps regulate bowel movements. Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your diet. Good sources of fiber include berries, broccoli, lentils, and bran cereals. Gradually increase your fiber intake to avoid bloating and gas.
3. Exercise Regularly
Engaging in regular physical activity can stimulate the muscles in your intestines and promote bowel movements. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.
4. Consider Stool Softeners
If lifestyle modifications alone are not providing relief, you may consider using over-the-counter stool softeners. These medications can help soften the stool and make it easier to pass. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medications.
5. Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
If constipation persists or becomes severe, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. They may be able to adjust your Eliquis dosage or recommend additional interventions to relieve constipation.
Eliquis is a highly effective medication for reducing the risk of blood clots and strokes. While constipation can be a side effect of this medication, it can often be managed through lifestyle modifications such as staying hydrated, increasing fiber intake, and exercising regularly. If constipation persists or becomes severe, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for further guidance.
Remember, it is crucial to continue taking Eliquis as prescribed, even if you are experiencing constipation. Do not stop or adjust your medication without consulting your healthcare provider first. They are in the best position to provide personalized advice and ensure your overall well-being.