Taking Ibuprofen With Eliquis (Apixaban)

In our latest question and answer, we discuss why you should not take ibuprofen if you are taking Eliquis (Apixaban).

Nov 12, 2017

Berlee asked

Can I take ibuprofen while on Eliquis or gabapentin?


You should not take ibuprofen with Eliquis. Taking the combination is known to increase the risk of bleeding episodes.

Eliquis is an anticoagulant (i.e. 'blood thinner) used for the prevention of stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. It is a good alternative to warfarin (a commonly used blood thinner) as it typically has a more consistent effect and doesn't require INR monitoring (a coagulation test), making a more convenient option for many.

Studies of Elqiuis show that the most common adverse events were related to bleeding. Many of the bleeding events were minor but there is the risk of more serious events such GI bleeds and major hemorrhage. Due to this, you want to avoid concurrent use of medication that further thins the blood.

Ibuprofen (brand names Advil, Motrin) is classified as an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). It is well known that NSAIDs inhibit blood platelet aggregation and can increase bleeding time. While this typically isn't an issue with short time use, if NSAIDs are combined with blood thinners, the risk greatly increases.

Additionally, one of the negative aspects of Eliquis is the fact that the blood thinning effect of the drug is not easily reversed, unlike warfarin. If uncontrolled bleeding occurs as a result of a medication interaction, there is no established way to reverse the anticoagulant effect of Eliquis. 

Due to the potential of serious bleeding events, you should not take Eliquid with any other medication that thins the blood, which includes ibuprofen. There are many alternative pain medications you can take in place of ibuprofen such as Tylenol (acetaminophen).

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