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AF Association
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Rivaroxaban or apixaban

Hi everyone I'm new to this site and wondered if anyone has had any side effects from blood thinners. I had a PE in March and have been taking Rivaroxaban since. At first I had quite bad vertigo and headaches but after about 6 weeks they gradually got better. But over the last couple of weeks I have developed a feeling of intense heat in my upper abdomen and chest which is very unpleasant (it's not acid reflux). I went to see my consultant and he suggested I take an alternative anti-coag. He mentioned Edoxaban or Apixaban. After reading up about both drugs I think I favour Apoxiban. But I'm worried about taking two tablets a day instead of one. I also have an occasional drink of wine in the evenings and am worried about taking the evening tablet whilst drinking wine.

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I have been on Apixaban for over 2 years with no side effects and I also have a glass of wine at the weekend also with no side effects. I am not recommending you do this as some people find alcohol affects their AF but so far with me it has been fine. I take my first tablet at 7.30am and then 12 hours later take the second. Kind regards, Heather

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Thanks for replying Heather.

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Hi Slooty :-) when informed I should take an anticoagulant I did lots of research about the NOACS and decided Apixaban came out top.

Also my son had been taking it for some months following a DVT with no side effects so I thought it might be my best option. So far no problems.

We are all very different and what suites one person may not be best for someone else, only trying a medication will show what is best for you.

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That makes me feel less anxious. Thanks doodle68

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I take apixaban and have no side effects. I also drink a small glass of red wine with my evening meal most days. I take the apixaban later in the evening though whether that's significant I have no idea. A pharmacist is probably the 'go to person' for questions about things like that.

What doodle68 says (above) is very true; medication is not a 'one size fits all' scenario so you can but try for yourself.

[Apixaban certainly seems to be the NOAC of choice for the medics. right now.]

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Great thanks CaroleF. I think that's good advice

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Hi Slooty, did you consultant say that rivaoxaban was causing your chest and abdomen issues. I have similar symptoms and have been on rivaoxaban for over three years now. Had these issues for the last two years.

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Hi meadfoot, yes my consultant informed me that Rivaroxaban is known to cause these side effects. Thanks

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Thanks Slooty very helpful. Hope you find Apixaban ok for you, I know lots of people who take it very successfully.

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Thanks meadfoot that's very reassuring to hear

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Apixaban has been fine for me It might be an advantage having two tablets- the half life is 12 hours so if you have to stop for any reason the concentration of the drug will fall more quickly I think- do check with your doctor though

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Hi rosyG, that's a good point thanks.

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I have only been taking xaralto/Riva for the last 4-6 weeks ahead of my ablation. I have had rash all over my face since starting - thank goodness for make up. I am as pimply as my 13 year old son!

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Aw sorry to hear that. Stick with it though if you can put up with rash.

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Started apixaban a few weeks ago and been fine, no side effects or anything unusual thankfully.

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Hi gems mum.

I have been taking rivaroxaban since May the last two months my hair has been falling out!! And getting a lot thinner.im going to Dr's to see if I can change it for Apixaban as my husband is on those with no side affects.

But I've been told it affects woman more than men because of the hormones in women.

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Hi Hethnrob 57

Thankfully I have had no problems with hair loss, maybe Apixaban is worth a try, hopefully your Dr will change you to Apixaban, kind regards Heather

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I'm going to Dr's on Tues so see what he says,my hair falls out every day and it's gone so thin,my pillow has hair on it each morning and when I wash it my hair falls out in a large amount.

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My doc changed me from warfarin to apixiban 2x5mg per day. I find it fine, the only thin is I bruise a lot easier on these than when when I took warfarin and I also have the odd glass of wine.

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I was first patient at my surgery to get Apixaban.my INR levels were all over the place with warfarin and I have very flat veins so weekly bloods were always a nightmare - once had four nurses and a very experienced doc trying and failing to get a sample, so they got permission to put me on it before it was widely approved by NHS. I must say it was brilliant from day one. I felt ill on warfarin but no problems with Apixaban.

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Zabadak, your response is helpful to me because I live in Ontario Canada where the noac's are not covered unless good reason given why warfarin doesn't work so perhaps the fact that I too have small veins which make the many blood checks difficult could be just cause for a switch. Also my INR levels vary even on the same dose of warfarin, perhaps that depends upon what I eat since warfarin worksa vitamin K inhibitor. Another point here too, before realizing how expensive it would prove to be I did try Rivaroxaban and suffered chest pain while taking it. Since changing to warfarin the chest pain has subsided a degree but I bruise very easily so if I am able to justify switching to a noac I shall try Apixaban as I see so many good reports here for it. This forum is a great help.

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Sunshine89 I was told my veins are soft and flat, and it's always a challenge finding a vein to take blood. Ok for the odd test but the weekly warfarin check was terrible. Apixaban much more expensive and there is no instant antidote if you need emergency surgery so it's not offered routinely. But I have had no issues at all with it.

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Thanks for the replies everyone I think I'll give Apixaban a try

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My wife (who has had 2 ablations) has been on Apixaban for over 3 years. We're not aware of any side effects apart from the occasional bruise if she accidentally knocks herself. She has a glass of wine every night.

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Great thanks tcpace. I think Apixaban is the tablet for me going forward

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I guess "glass of wine every night" swung it for you ;-)

Seriously though, what works for one person may not be good for another.

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Yes it did swing it a bit lol

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Seems most people have no issues with Apixaban but I felt awful for the first week. Since then, whenever I am down / depressed / anxious, it makes me paranoid for a couple hours after taking it. When I'm feeling OK - no side effects!

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I have been on Apixaban for almost 4 years as I have AF and apart from the first 2 months being on it I have had no side effects and I was very reluctant to take any medication for life at that time. The first 2 months were very difficult as my tongue suddenly developed sores all long the sides and I almost gave up on the medication. But then the sores started to disappear and touch wood have not had any other side effects. I don't seem to bleed excessively if I cut myself which surprised me and bruising doesn't seem to be a problem unlike when I was on Aspirin. I prefer to have to take it twice a day - you soon get into the habit - as somebody said previously it means that it is quicker out of your body if you need it to be for any reason. I asked my cardiologist when these drugs first became available which he would take and he gave me a list of four and he recommended Apixaban as coming up with the best results during trials. Hope this helps. I also have the odd glass of wine and found that it has produced no side effect even if I have just taken a tablet. BUT everyone is different, you just have to try yourself.

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Thanks for your replies guys. Apixaban seems to be the choice for most people. I'm going to speak to my consultant today to switch from Rivaroxaban to Apixaban.

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I'm on warfarin and went away for the weekend had some champagne! & prosseco and my INR went up massively!! Not often I drink though so should be ok! 😂

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A little of what you like shouldn't do you any harm lol

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Hi Slooty

I have been on Apixaban for over a year now, got used to taking it twice a day alright (tablet box is excellent). I go to the pub once a week and have 3 pints of lager, no problems with this. If I go over this figure I get problems. Trial and error, but got there. One of the things that I no longer drink is wine, used to drink gallons of the stuff and base our holidays around this. Had a bad reaction to wine since being on Apixaban, that's why I drink lager. Also cant drink Guinness? something that was a catastrophe at first but discovered lager so all is well in the world. I think on the information leaflet it does allow you a couple of drinks???

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Yes, I’ve switched to Apixaban now. The only problem I get is that I can’t seem to lose weight on it, no matter how hard I try.

You say that over three pints of lager gives you problems. What are these?

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Also what reaction did you have to wine? I drink mostly white wine and don’t tend to have any problems.

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Hi Slooty. I would normally drink red wine (permanent order from Portugal). I just get a feeling of 'not being well' (so the wine order has ceased), this can also manifest itself as heart flutter. I have indulged a couple of times over my 3 pints and the first time ended up in a visit to hospital after waking up in a sweat with my heart palpitating and feeling really unwell. This ill feeling went on for about 5 weeks (I don't do it anymore). I wish you well in this. If you find that you don't get a reaction to your occasional wine, just continue.

Dave

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I see Dave. Well at least you can have the three pints of lager. Which is something.

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I have been on rivaroxaban for 6 years since I was 34, I take it just before I go to sleep without food even though it says you should take with food. I haven't noticed any side effects I can attribute to it. My own view is if you are taking something forever you should choose whichever gives you the least hassle. I was considering apixiban as it's more modern but I don't think I could handle 2 tablets a day so I've stuck with Riva.

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Yes you’re quite right, each to their own. I feel much better on Apixaban and I’m glad I switched from Rivaroxaban. I have set my alarm on my IPhone to remind me to take my medication twice daily and haven’t ever missed a dose. The reason why they say to take Rivaroxaban with food is because it helps your body absorb the medication and makes it more effective. It has nothing to do with side effects.

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