What Happens When You Stop Taking Eliquis?

Wednesday 25 September 2019
5 minute(s) read
Dr.Heather Bartlett

Medically reviewed by

Dr Heather Bartlett, MD

on 22 November 2022

Table of Contents

I. Keep in mind that Eliquis can be necessary for your health.

  a. Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis

  b. Treating Pulmonary Embolism

  c. Treating Atrial Fibrillation

II. There may be valid reasons for wanting to stop taking Eliquis.

  a. Low Risk of Getting another Blood Clot

  b. Having a Procedure or Surgery

  c. Side Effect Concerns

III. Stopping on your own is incredibly dangerous, however.

IV. Instead, inform yourself and talk to your doctor first.

It’s been some time now, and you haven’t felt the need to worry about blood clots, strokes, or anything else. So eventually, you start to wonder: what happens when you stop taking Eliquis?

Surely, it can’t be too bad. You haven’t felt particularly awful in a decent while. So you could probably handle stopping your dose of Eliquis, right?

Well, it isn’t that simple or safe.

white pills coming out of a pink bottle

Keep in mind that Eliquis can be necessary for your health.

You may feel well right now. But in many cases, Eliquis is absolutely necessary for that well-being. Eliquis is now available in generic form through an online Canadian pharmacy. RxConnected sources its medications from countries where generic Eliquis is already available, so Americans can now have access to this traditionally expensive drug. After all, your doctor prescribed it to you for a reason. And that reason may be one of the following.

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Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis

For one, you may have recently gotten a blood clot in your leg.

This is what is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). [1] It often becomes a more common experience for those over the age of 40. But you can be at a higher risk for it if you have any of the following:

  • History of DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE)
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Being physically inactive for long periods
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Having a condition or treatment that makes your blood clot more easily
    • Examples: cancer, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, heart and lung disease, thrombophilia, and Hughes syndrome
  • Being pregnant
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Even accidentally bumping your leg into your furniture, or mild trauma, could provoke a DVT


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Depending on what caused your DVT, you could end up taking Eliquis for three months or more. And doing so is what will prevent you from experiencing the same pain again.

Treating Pulmonary Embolism

Eliquis is also frequently prescribed to treat PEs. This condition happens when a blood vessel in your lungs is blocked by a blood clot, called a pulmonary embolism.

Technically, anyone can develop this condition. But the risk of it increases due to the following medical history conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Particular cancers
    • Examples: pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers
  • Surgery, especially joint replacement surgery
  • Being physically inactive for long periods
  • Smoking
  • Being pregnant
  • Supplemental estrogen
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a port, a site of medication administration, for many with a malignancy

Like DVT, PE can come back again. So you want to make sure you take the full treatment for the condition whether it’s for three months or longer.

Treating Atrial Fibrillation

If you have a condition like atrial fibrillation, however, you may be on Eliquis for life. [2] After all, this condition can lead to blood clots, strokes, and even heart failure. And Eliquis can help prevent all that from happening.

empty hospital beds in a rooom

There may be valid reasons for wanting to stop taking Eliquis.

With that said, some situations may make stopping Eliquis understandable with your physician’s advice. Let’s examine a few.

Low Risk of Getting another Blood Clot

Once you get an unprovoked vein clot, it’s suggested you take Eliquis or another blood thinner for life. [3] But that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. For instance, women can be exempt from doing so. It all just depends on a set of criteria known as the HERDOO2 rule.

This particular rule was both developed and validated by a Canadian-led research group for the journal BMJ. Under its direction, women with one or none of these qualities are at low risk for getting another blood clot:

  • Discoloration
  • Redness or swelling in one leg or the other
  • Levels of clotting markers that are high in number
  • BMIs greater or equal to 30
  • Age that is 65 or older

In fact, the research group found these women were only at a 3% risk of getting another blood clot. So if you fit the HERDOO2 rule, you probably will have a low risk of blood clots even if you choose to stop taking Eliquis.

Having a Procedure or Surgery

In some other cases, you might even be asked to stop your Eliquis dose for a procedure or surgery. But it depends on what you’re undergoing. Typically, if it has a high risk of causing bleeding, you’ll be asked to discontinue Eliquis 48 hours ahead of time. [4] But if the risk is lower, you may be asked to discontinue it for only 24 hours ahead of time.

Side Effect Concerns

Sometimes, you may have no choice but to stop taking Eliquis entirely. The main reason for this is likely one or more of the following side effects:

  • Skin rashes
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Facial swelling
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness

These side effects can negatively affect your quality of life. And if that happens, your doctor will likely try to find you an alternative medication.

Stopping on your own is incredibly dangerous, however.

Still, even if you fit one of the previously mentioned scenarios, don’t stop your Eliquis dose just yet. Doing so can be incredibly dangerous. [5] You’ll end up going back to your usual rate of blood clots that you had before taking Eliquis. And you may also increase your risk of:

  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • DVT
  • PEs

a doctor holding up a stethoscope

Instead, inform yourself, and talk to your doctor first.

You’re better off determining whether you can stop Eliquis by asking your doctor. So if this is something you’d like to seriously consider, make sure you set up an appointment first. Your doctor will be able to inform you of what would work best for you.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.