Eliquis – Part 1: Three Drugs That Drain the Bank, and the Foods that Do Similar Tasks

Eliquis – Part 1: Three Drugs That Drain the Bank, and the Foods that Do Similar Tasks

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pillsA list of crazy-expensive drugs showed up in an article on CTV recently.  These drugs cover three very common issues most people seem to face at one time in their lives or another, or they know someone afflicted by them.

These three drugs cost more than “an arm and a leg”, and there ARE healthier, less problematic alternatives!

“The annual list price of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Eliquis, a blood thinner that reduces the risk of stroke, is $7,100 in the U.S. But in Japan, it’s US$940; in Canada, it’s US$900; in Germany, it’s US$770; in the United Kingdom, it’s US$760; and in France, it’s US$650.”

We’ll do a three part article series covering these three drugs and their wholefood as medicine alternatives. Let’s begin with Eliquis.

From Bristol Myers’ website:
They recommend their brand of apixaban for the following groups of people:

Reduce the Risk of Stroke
Due to Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
For patients with AFib, a type of irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem
For patients taking ELIQUIS for atrial fibrillation: stopping ELIQUIS increases your risk of having a stroke.

Treat Blood Clots
In the Veins of the Legs/Lungs & Reduce Risk of it Occurring Again
For patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)

Decrease Risk of DVT Blood Clots
After Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery
For patients who have had hip or knee replacement surgery

Possible side effects include:

~ Severe internal bleeding such as from menstruation or in the lung, digestive tract or gums.
~ Joint pain
~Red or black stools
~External bleeding that won’t stop or takes a very long time to stop, etc.

Apparently their medication may actually cause clotting if a person needs spinal punctures or epidurals regularly, and the risk here extends to potential paralysis. This can happen if the spinal patient is accepting catheters, taking NSAIDS, having repeated spinal punctures, etc. The patient is apparently alerted to this potentiality by way of tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.

People who are allergic to the drug may suddenly get tight-chested, get chest pain, experience sudden swelling of the face or tongue, have trouble breathing, wheeze, or get dizzy or faint.

Apparently if you have not begun the medication but it was prescribed to you, you are to discuss any kidney, liver, or pre-existing bleeding issues before you start the medication. If you typically react to phospholipids, they say to discuss with your doctor too. In other words, this drug is hard on your kidney and liver and contains phospholipids.

Bristol Myers does note that if you are already taking Aspirin, NSAIDS, Warfarin, Heparin, anti-depressents, or other anti-clotting drugs, taking Eliquis might raise your risk of bleeding!

According to various sources, including Pfizer’s own formulation of apixaban,  the generic name for Eliquis, the coating of the tablet contains both iron ixode, and titanium dioxide! Titanium dioxide is a poison!!! Interestingly, by page 5 of Pfizer’s box label insert, they are referring to apixaban as Eliquis. Further digging around would reveal that this is because Pfizer has been co-developing Eliquis with Bristol Myer. Page 9 lets us know that the table contains lactose and therefore not to be given to those who are lactose-intolerant. Lactose Monohydrate is listed as an inactive ingredient by Daily Med of the US National Library of Medicine:

Pfizer doesn’t recommend this drug if you are pregnant or nursing.

In a paper titled: Development of apixaban: a novel anticoagulant for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Nov 5, 2014, the authors say:

“Apixaban was developed to address an unmet clinical need for a safe, effective, oral anticoagulant drug that would not require routine monitoring for its appropriate use. Before the recent introduction of new oral anticoagulants, vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) were the sole option for chronic oral anticoagulation for over 50 years. Although proven to be efficacious in a number of clinical indications, their use is associated with a high risk of bleeding.”

There are two things wrong with the above quote from the paper’s abstract,

1) The apparent “unmet need for a safe, effective, oral anticoagulant drug that would not require routine monitoring” already existed for thousands of years in the form of anto-coagulants found in wild foods.

2), Considering what we’ve read above about the risks of severe bleeding, it would appear that the concern over previous anti-clotting medications have not been resolved with the use of apixaban.

The journey to apixaban began with the following idea:

“Efforts have mostly focused on enzymes in the final common pathway, that is, factor Xa (FXa) and thrombin.

There is theoretical and preclinical evidence suggesting that inhibition of FXa and its resultant reduction of thrombin generation may have advantages over the direct inhibition of thrombin. Blood coagulation proceeds by a series of sequential, or cascading, reactions, in which it has been estimated that generation of one molecule of FXa results in the production of hundreds of thrombin molecules. More importantly, inhibition of FXa does not interfere with the activity of residual amounts of thrombin that may contribute to maintenance of hemostasis via activation of the high-affinity platelet thrombin receptor.”

“A high degree of selectivity for FXa over related enzymes that play important roles in coagulation, fibrinolysis, digestion, and inflammatory responses was a requirement in order to avoid off-target effects that could result in toxicities or adverse events.”

“Briefly, efforts beginning at DuPont Pharmaceuticals in 1995 and continuing at Bristol-Myers Squibb following its acquisition of DuPont Pharmaceuticals in 2001 led to the identification of a series of highly potent and selective inhibitors of FXa. Five compounds were advanced to clinical studies, and one compound, previous to apixaban, was evaluated through phase II.11 Since 2007, development of apixaban has been conducted in alliance with Pfizer.”

Trying to look up what these compounds are exactly, or what they are derived from seem to be an exercise in futility. From GoodRx Health, we learn that it isn’t animal-derived at the very least.

An article published Feb 7, 2024 by Weill Cornell Medicine, found a phase III study that shows apixaban is no better than Aspirin in preventing stroke recurrence in patients with Atrial Cardiopathy, a precursor to Atrial fibrillation, one of the top three reasons Eliquis is prescribed for patient use.

“Atrial cardiopathy, a condition in which the heart shows signs of subtle structural and functional abnormalities, is thought by many researchers to be a potential precursor to atrial fibrillation, and also has been linked to blood clots and strokes. Researchers therefore have hypothesized that anticoagulants might also prevent recurrent strokes more effectively than aspirin in patients with atrial cardiopathy, even when they don’t yet show signs of atrial fibrillation.”

The new study, published Feb. 7 in JAMA, tested the two treatments in 1,015 such patients at 185 clinical centers in the United States and Canada. It found that the rate of new strokes was the same, whether the patients took apixaban or aspirin.”

““We were trying to find the threshold at which anticoagulant therapy becomes more effective than aspirin, and it may be that that threshold is higher and requires clear signs of atrial fibrillation,” said study senior author Dr. Mitchell Elkind, professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and a neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Elkind also currently serves as the chief clinical science officer of the American Heart Association.”

Unfortunately, the doctors who penned this study still believe that cholesterol is the cause of athersclerosis. The wheels of actual, healthful progress in mainstream medicine move very slowly, if at all, and sometimes they move backwards in efforts they think are moving forward.

So if in general, a drug promoted to be safer than Aspirin but whose data sheet shows worse trouble, is actually no better than Aspirin at the function to which Aspirin has been ascribed, namely that of reducing blood clots, are there alternatives to Aspirin and apixaban in the wholefood as medicine space? Alternatives that don’t risk severe bleeding externally or internally? Are there equally-effective preventive medicines to be found in the world of food that don’t carry such a high price tag on one’s health and pocketbook?

I’ve written about some of these in the past already. Your pumpkin spice blend for example (minus nutmeg), contains several spices that have multiple benefits to the human body, including that of anti-coagulation, or anti-blood clotting. They too, are known as blood thinners. They are far cheaper on the pocketbook and most people don’t experience any nasty side effects. It is still advised if you are going in for surgery or procedures that could release blood, to go off these spices 3 to 5 days before the procedure. However it should be noted that in cases of nosebleeds, cuts, bruises, and other similar conditions, while you may bleed a little more than before regularly eating these spices, your blood will still clot as normal. Simply staunch the bleeding and a few seconds to minutes later, you’ll have a proper scab. My own household can speak from first-hand experience with these spices.

beefIn addition to your pumpkin spice blend, other foods known in the herbal and food as medicine world to aid in reducing blood clots include: Avocado, cayenne pepper, corn, eggs, fennel, fish, flax, garlic, gingko biloba, kiwi, beef, pork, olive oil, onions, pumpkin seeds, purslane, sage, star anise, turmeric, walnuts, watermelon and yarrow. Some of these contribute to the healthy flow of your blood by how their constituents interact with your body’s platelet-creation process, others by how platelets do or don’t aggregate or clump together. You’d have to eat an excessive amount of these foods to have bleed-out problems, and the spices are the only foods recommended to fast from before most surgeries. Various procedures will tell you which foods to fast from depending on the procedure, but whether they list them or not, fast the pumpkin spice blend in particular before such events as they have the highest impact on anti-coagulant activity at low doses.

Stay safe, and lower the costs to your health and to your pocketbook by using food as your medicine.

Stay tuned for the second instalment in our three part article series covering three drugs and their wholefood as medicine alternatives.

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