You will have been prescribed edoxaban either to treat a harmful clot that has formed in a blood vessel, or to prevent one from forming.
Take one dose each day.The most common side-effects are bleeding (such as nosebleeds), itchy skin rash, and feeling sick.
|Type of medicine||A factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant|
|Used for||To prevent or treat harmful blood clots|
Edoxaban works by preventing your blood from clotting as quickly or as effectively as normal. It does this by blocking a substance in your blood, called 'factor Xa', which is involved in the development of blood clots.
Sometimes, harmful blood clots can form in the blood vessels of your legs, lungs, brain or heart, and cause a blockage. This is more likely to happen if you have had surgery, or if you have a fast irregular heartbeat. For many years, a medicine called warfarin has been commonly used to treat blood clots like these and also to help protect against them. However, people who take warfarin need to have regular blood tests to measure how quickly their blood clots. This often means that the dose of warfarin can change quite frequently. Edoxaban works in a slightly different way to warfarin, so people who take edoxaban do not need to have regular blood tests.
Edoxaban is prescribed to treat blood clots causing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. You may also be prescribed edoxaban to help protect against recurrent blood clots, or if you have a certain type of irregular fast heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
Before taking edoxaban
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking edoxaban it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have any medical problems that increase your risk of bleeding, or if you have recently had surgery.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have a problem with the blood vessels in your eyes, known as vascular retinopathy.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take edoxaban tablets
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about edoxaban and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Take edoxaban exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is taken once daily. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you which strength of tablet is right for you as there are several strengths of edoxaban available (15 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg). This information will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you.
- Try to take your tablet around the same time of day each day. This will help you to remember to take edoxaban regularly. Edoxaban can be taken either with or without food, but it should preferably be swallowed with a drink of water.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- The length of the course of treatment will depend upon why you are taking the tablets, but it will either be for several months, or long-term.
- If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, please tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking edoxaban.
- If you take any medicines that you have bought without a prescription, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with edoxaban. This is because some medicines, such as some painkillers, can interfere with it.
Can edoxaban tablets cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with edoxaban. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common edoxaban side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Bleeding (such as nosebleeds) and bruising||If it continues or becomes troublesome, let your doctor know|
|Feeling sick||Try taking the tablet after food|
|Itchy skin rash||If it continues or becomes troublesome, let your doctor know|
|Changes in some blood tests (including anaemia which could make you feel very tired)||Your doctor will check for these|
Important: if you experience any unusual bleeding, speak with your doctor straightaway or go to your local accident and emergency department.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store edoxaban
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Lixiana® 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg film-coated tablets; Daiichi Sankyo UK Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2016.
- British National Formulary; 72nd Edition (Sep 2016) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox