Compare Eliquis vs. Heparin

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



Prevents blood clots. Eliquis (Apixaban) is an easy to use and effective way to prevent blood clots from forming in your veins.Prevents blood clots. Heparin is a good anticoagulant that prevents blood clots. However, you'll need to get frequent blood tests to make sure it's working well.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
  • All bleeding 6%
  • Nosebleed 3%
  • Nonmajor bleeding 2%
  • Collection of blood 1%
More Eliquis side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Heparin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Heparin »
How it works
Eliquis (Apixaban) is a factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant and prevents the formation of blood clots in your veins.Heparin is an anticoagulant that binds with proteins and platelets to stop blood clots from being made and traveling to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Type of medication
Factor Xa inhibitor
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
  • History of bleeding problems
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Older age
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Detailed Heparin risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
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
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Take twice a day, with or without food, at the same time each day.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • 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 kidneys and liver-related info.
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
  • 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.
  • Safe to use in pregnancy and if you're breast feeding.
  • There are other medications that can help stop unexpected bleeding while taking Heparin.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Usually used in the hospital, but can be given at home too.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
  • You'll need to get labs/blood draws done on a regular basis to make sure the drug is working and to make sure you don't get unexpected side effects.
  • You can be at higher risk for bleeding or clotting while taking Heparin compared to other anticoagulants.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • 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.
  • Make sure to change where you inject Heparin every time.
  • Don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications without talking to your doctor first.
  • You will have to do regular blood draws or labs to make sure that Heparin is working for you.
Learn more
More about EliquisSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about HeparinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert