Can You Use Anti-Inflammatory Drugs With Eliquis?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the use of anti-inflammatory drugs with Eliquis.

Can You Use Anti-Inflammatory Drugs With Eliquis?
Jul 25, 2019

Dave asked

Everyone says you shouldn't take Eliquis and ibuprofen together. I hear people say to take Tylenol instead, but Tylenol does nothing for inflammatory pain... it's a useless medication for anything other than fever. Is there any anti-inflammatory that can be used with Eliquis, or is the only valid pain relief opioids?

At a glance

  • NSAIDs generally should not be taken with Eliquis due to the increased risk of bleeding events. Potential alternative therapies for the treatment of pain include Tylenol, topical NSAIDs and various herbal preparations.


Pills On Blue Background With Text - Taking Anti-Inflammatory Drugs With Eliquis

You are correct that anti-inflammatory drugs generally cannot be taken with Eliquis. This includes the commonly used class of anti-inflammatory drugs, the NSAIDs, many of which are available over the counter. Over the counter NSAIDs include:

Taking an NSAID with Eliquis, an anticoagulant (i.e. 'blood thinner') increases the risk of bleeding.

Even though NSAIDs are likely off the table if you take Eliquis, there are some potential alternatives available.

NSAID Warning

As stated above, taking NSAIDs with Eliquis can increase the risk of bleeding episodes.

The prescribing information for Eliquis states this explicitly:

  1. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. PubMed
  2. Eliquis Prescribing Information. BMS
  3. Comparison of an antiinflammatory dose of ibuprofen, an analgesic dose of ibuprofen, and acetaminophen in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. PubMed
  4. American College of Rheumatology 2012 Recommendations for the Use of Nonpharmacologic and Pharmacologic Therapies in Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee

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