Coumadin vs. Eliquis

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Prevents blood clots. Coumadin (Warfarin) is an old, cheap, and effective medicine to prevent blood clots, but it requires some monitoring, dose adjustments, and even lifestyle changes.Prevents blood clots. Eliquis (Apixaban) is an easy to use and effective way to prevent blood clots from forming in your veins.
How it works
Coumadin (Warfarin) is an anticoagulant blood thinner. It lowers chemicals called clotting factors so that it's harder for your body to form blood clots.Eliquis (Apixaban) is a factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant and prevents the formation of blood clots in your veins.
Type of medication
Vitamin K antagonist
Prescription only
Factor Xa inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Coumadin (Warfarin)
of people say Coumadin (Warfarin) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects

The Coumadin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Coumadin side effects »
  • All bleeding 6%
  • Nosebleed 3%
  • Nonmajor bleeding 2%
  • Collection of blood 1%
More Eliquis side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Dose too high
  • Age greater than 65
  • History of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Drug interactions
  • Change in lifestyle or diet
  • Illnesses
  • Alcohol
  • Certain genetic makeup
    • Women of childbearing age
    Detailed Coumadin (Warfarin) risks & warnings »
    • Stopping Eliquis (Apixaban) early
    • Spinal puncture (spinal tap)
    • Getting anesthesia in the spine (epidural anesthesia)
    • History of bleeding problems
    • Severe high blood pressure
    • Older age
    • Artificial heart valve
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
    Detailed Eliquis (Apixaban) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

    Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

    See the FDA package insert
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    • Many lifestyle factors can affect how well warfarin works, such as diet, alcohol, and activity level, so it's important that you try to stay consistent with your behaviors.
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    • Eat foods containing consistent amounts of Vitamin K.
    • Take twice a day, with or without food, at the same time each day.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    • Eliquis (Apixaban) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, talk to your doctor about possibly switching to a different medicine to prevent increased risk for side effects.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • Oral blood-thinning medicine that prevents blood clots from forming or getting bigger.
    • Prevents complications of blood clots that can cause extreme discomfort or death. Examples include stroke (blood clots in the brain), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs causing trouble breathing), or deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs causing pain and blood vessel damage).
    • Has an antidote, Vitamin K, in case of a major accidental bleeding.
    • Coumadin (Warfarin) has been around for a long time, so we know a lot about how well it works and what the risks are.
    • It's dirt cheap.
    • Eliquis (Apixaban) is very effective in reducing the threat of stroke in people with Afib or other clotting disorders.
    • Eliquis (Apixaban) doesn't require regular blood testing and doesn't have dietary restrictions.
    • If you've had clots in your legs or lungs before, Eliquis (Apixaban) can lower the risk of these forming again.
    Downsides and risks
    • Raises your risk of bleeding and bruising.
    • Requires routine blood testing (called an INR) to see how well the medicine is working for you and to make the dose just right for you.
    • Many lifestyle factors can affect how well warfarin works, such as diet, alcohol, and activity level, so it's important that you try to stay consistent with your behaviors.
    • Lots of interactions with other drugs or supplements. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new meds.
    • You can bruise easier and if you cut yourself, it'll take longer to stop the bleeding. Always look for signs of internal bleeding, such as dark urine or blood in your stool.
    • Can't be used if you have artificial heart valves.
    • Never stop taking Eliquis (Apixaban) without talking to your doctor first.
    • Eliquis (Apixaban) isn't available as a generic, so it can be pricey.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • Thins your blood to prevent clots from forming or getting bigger. Doesn't break up existing clots.
    • The amount you need depends on your diet, other medical problems, and genes.
    • Take it exactly as instructed.
    • Can raise your risk of bleeding or bruising.
    • Requires regular blood tests to get your dose right.
    • Interacts with a lot of medicines and supplements. Don't start any new meds without talking to your doctor.
    • Eat foods containing consistent amounts of Vitamin K.
    • Tell your doctor immediately if you fell or if you have unusual bleeding, bruising, swelling, or changes in vision and coordination.
    • Get a medical bracelet so that people know you're on a blood thinner during an emergency situation.
    • Take twice a day, with or without food, at the same time each day.
    • Needs to be stopped prior to dental procedures or surgery.
    • You can bruise easier and if you have a cut, it can take longer for bleeding to stop.
    • Do not take with other drugs that affect your blood, like aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, or SSRIs.
    • Call a doctor immediately if you have dizziness, weakness, or a really bad headache.
    Learn more
    More about CoumadinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about EliquisSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert