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Eliquis® (apixaban)

Risk Minimisation Information for Healthcare Professionals

Spinal/epidural anaesthesia or puncture1

When neuraxial anaesthesia (spinal/epidural anaesthesia) or spinal/epidural puncture is employed, patients treated with antithrombotic agents for prevention of thromboembolic complications are at risk of developing an epidural or spinal haematoma, which can result in long-term or permanent paralysis. Post-operative indwelling epidural or intrathecal catheters must be removed at least 5 hours prior to the first dose of apixaban.

Guidance on the use of apixaban in patients with indwelling intrathecal or epidural catheters

There is no clinical experience with the use of apixaban with indwelling intrathecal or epidural catheters. In case there is such need and based on the general pharmacokinetic characteristics of apixaban, a time interval of 20 to 30 hours (i.e. 2 x half-life) between the last dose of apixaban and catheter withdrawal should elapse, and at least one dose should be omitted before catheter withdrawal. The next dose of apixaban may be given at least 5 hours after catheter removal. As with all anticoagulant drugs, experience with neuraxial blockade is limited and extreme caution is, therefore, recommended when using apixaban in the presence of neuraxial blockade (Figure 4).

Patients are to be frequently monitored for signs and symptoms of neurological impairment (e.g. numbness or weakness of the legs, bowel or bladder dysfunction). If neurological compromise is noted, urgent diagnosis and treatment are necessary.

Figure 4

apixaban 2.5 mg tablet
Last tablet before removal of epidural/intrathecal catheter
Wait 20–30 hours
Remove catheter
Wait ≥5 hours
apixaban 2.5 mg tablet
First tablet after removal of catheter

This Prescriber Guide is not a substitute for the apixaban Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC). Please consult the SmPC for full prescribing information.