Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Apixaban


Last updated on 18/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  




DRUG CLASS:Anticoagulant, Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC) / direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC)

USED FOR: Prevention of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), postoperative venous thromboprophylaxis

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Edoxaban, Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 2.5mg, 5mg (tablets)

What is Apixaban for?

Apixaban belongs to a class of medications called Direct or Non-Vitamin K antagonist Oral Anticoagulant. It is used to treat blood clots, including that in deep vein and in major blood vessel in the lung, and to prevent potential stroke in atrial fibrillation patients (but not for those with abnormal heart valve).

How to use it?

Apixaban can be taken orally. 

For preventing stroke in atrial fibrillation, the usual dose is 5 mg twice daily.

For preventing DVT or PE after surgery, the initial dose is 2.5 mg 12-24 hours after surgery, followed by 2.5 mg twice daily for 35 and 12 days for hip and knee replacement respectively.

For treating DVT or PE, the initial dose is 10 mg twice daily; the maintenance dose is 5 mg twice daily.

A lower dose is used in patients with lower weight or poorer kidney function.

What are the side effects of Apixaban? 

The most common side effect is a higher chance of bleeding, for example, easier bruising, black tarry stools (gastrointestinal bleeding), pink urine (bleeding in the urinary tract), which may lead to anemia.

Who should not take Apixaban?

– Anyone who is sensitive to Apixaban or any ingredients in the medicine
– Anyone with active bleeding

Pharmacist Tips:

As Apixaban increases the chance of bleeding, be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor. Make sure you take every dose, as you may risk a potentially fatal blood clot.

Common dosing schedule:
Apixaban can be taken with or without food. Take it at the same time on a daily basis. Unlike conventional anticoagulants (e.g. Warfarin), Apixaban has fewer dietary restrictions.

What if I miss a dose?
Apixaban is usually taken twice daily. If you remember to take it within 6 hours, take the missed dose immediately; if it is over 6 hours, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time. Please record the date of the missed dose and tell the doctor in the next follow-up.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Apixaban may interact with:
– Antiplatelet agents, e.g. Aspirin, Clopidogrel
– Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, e.g. Ibuprofen, Celecoxib

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, as dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Apixaban in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Apixaban is a prescription-only medicine and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Apixaban in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.