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What Foods to Avoid While on Eliquis

What Foods to Avoid While on Eliquis
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 4 min read

Many medications on the market require you to change your diet. Often, certain foods and drinks interfere with medications, especially diabetes drugs. However, Eliquis, a medication that treats and prevents blood clots, requires you to change your diet as well.

Eliquis, also known as apixaban, is used to treat conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, thromboembolism, and pulmonary embolism. The drug also works to prevent blood clots and strokes that can result from atrial fibrillation or AFib. While this drug provides many benefits, experts caution you from eating a number of foods while taking this medication. 

Experts have long known that you need to change your diet when taking medications like Ozempic and Coumadin. However, you must avoid a number of foods when you take Eliquis. According to experts at Single Care, a large number of people who begin taking Eliquis have underlying conditions, such as heart disease.  

Because of this, it is imperative that these patients eat copious amounts of vegetables, fruits, and nuts. These foods are good for you and are a better choice than foods filled with refined sugars. You should avoid fast food and red meat while on this medication. But what other foods can cause problems? Which foods should you avoid when you take this medication?

Eliquis is a highly effective blood thinner, and it does not have bad reactions with any food in particular. Many substances, such as coffee, grapefruit juice, and leafy green vegetables, cause drug interactions, and may decrease the effectiveness of medications. However, such is not the case with Eliquis. Tea, cranberry juice, and other foods not allowed with other medications are safe for consumption with Eliquis. But be aware that certain foods are off limits.

Although coffee has many health benefits, including decreasing your cancer risk, experts discourage Eliquis patients from drinking it. Drinking too much coffee can be harmful for individuals with heart disease. 

However, some foods cause a myriad of problems when they are consumed by those on Eliquis. Although there is no direct link between caffeine and Eliquis, many people who take Eliquis also have coronary artery disease or CAD. Those with coronary artery disease are cautioned not to consume much caffeine or to avoid it altogether. 

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not you should consume caffeine is between both you and your doctor. However, be aware of certain interactions. 

Fatty foods

Foods that are high in fat should also be avoided when you take this medication. Foods, such as red meat, fast food, and foods high in saturated fat raise your chances of having a stroke or heart disease. Being obese also increases these risks, but it is important to avoid foods that are high in fat, because they increase the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries. This plaque buildup may at some point lead to a severe cardiovascular event.

You typically find high levels of saturated fat in fatty meat, whole-fat dairy products, and fried foods. Some plant-based foods, such as coconuts, are high in fat. High-fat snacks and meals can decrease the efficiency of Eliquis. That’s why it is so critical to avoid foods that are high in fat.

Foods that are high in fat include the following:

  • Seeds

  • Chips

  • Processed foods

  • Pizza 

Ginger and herbs 

Those who take Eliquis should avoid ginger and other herbs. Ginger can act as an anticoagulant, which places you at a higher risk of developing blood clots while on this medication. This can be a problem, especially if you take Eliquis to prevent or treat blood clots. Eliquis is also known to interact with St. John’s Wort. Doctors do not recommend you take these two substances together. 

However, if you want to take St. John’s wort with Eliquis, it is important to talk with your doctor. 

Several clinical trials have found a link between Eliquis and the potential for blood clots. This may seem counterintuitive, since Eliquis was created to prevent and treat blood clots. 

Certain herbs can cause problems for those taking Eliquis. Ginger happens to be one of these herbs. It is likely safe to consume ginger in small amounts, especially when it’s cooked into your favorite dish. However, it’s a good idea to avoid eating large quantities of ginger when you take Eliquis.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

According to NiceRX, you should avoid consuming grapefruit and grapefruit juice when you take this medication, unless your doctor says otherwise. Research studies have found drug-food interactions to sometimes be a problem in those taking anticoagulants. Grapefruit in itself increases your risk of experiencing side effects when you take this medication.


While many people enjoy an occasional glass of wine or a beer, those taking Eliquis need to avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases your risk of bleeding, which could lead to other health problems.  

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, “such as ibuprofen,” increase your risk of bleeding and should be avoided at all costs. Those taking Eliquis should avoid foods that are rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K can impair the effectiveness of this medication. You may need to read nutritional labels on food to determine which foods have too much Vitamin K. 

Of course, it helps to know what foods are high in Vitamin K before you go food shopping. Foods that are high in Vitamin K include:

  • Lettuce

  • Cabbage 

  • Sprouts 

  • salad dressing containing soybean and canola oil

  • Broccoli

  • Kale

  • Collard greens

According to experts, it is wise to decrease your intake of foods, such as pork, lamb, beef, cream, and butter. Lard, ice cream, and cheese can be problematic. While you don’t need to avoid these foods entirely, it may help to cut down on your intake of these foods. You don’t necessarily need to eat a low fat or fat free diet while taking this medication. 

However, limiting your intake of these foods will help you get the most benefit out of taking Eliquis. 


Research has found that turmeric increases your risk of developing unstoppable bleeding when taken in conjunction with a blood thinner, such as Eliquis. Ginkgo biloba should be avoided, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

While Melatonin may seem like a mild substance, those who take Eliquis should avoid Melatonin entirely. According to experts, the over-the-counter sleeping aid can increase the amount of time it takes for blood to coagulate or clot. When taken alongside blood thinners like Eliquis, Melatonin can result in disastrous consequences. 

Although more research is needed on how melatonin impacts blood thinners, doctors generally discourage you from taking Melatonin as a precaution. According to the Mayo Clinic, certain supplements, herbs, and drugs affect blood clotting. 

While many people enjoy a healthy serving of fruit, experts advise avoiding fruits, such as marmalade, pomelos, and limes while taking this medication. These fruits can cause Eliquis to break down more slowly and increase the side effects of this medication.  

A number of prescription medications interact with Eliquis and should not be taken by those who take it. The ultimate goal of this medication is to improve health, so it is important to avoid substances that cause problems. 

You should not take a number of medications if you take Eliquis. Seizure medications, such as Dilantin and Tegretol, should not be taken by those who take apixaban. Antifungal drugs, such as Sporanox and ketoconazole, should be avoided by those who take this medication.  

It is important to be careful with herbs and supplements when you take Eliquis. Unfortunately, the FDA does not provide a lot of information about interactions between herbal supplements and medications like Eliquis. Because of this, it can at times be difficult to determine whether it is safe to consume certain herbs while taking this medication.

Because NSAIDs are known to cause problems for those taking Eliquis, it is important to avoid over-the-counter medications like Advil, Voltaren, and Motrin. You can’t predict the side effects of these medications when they’re combined with Eliquis. 

Those who take Eliquis should also avoid green onions, cauliflower, spinach, and parsley. You should also avoid sodium as much as possible. According to experts, sodium causes you to retain water. Sodium can negate the effects of diuretics, which are used to flush your system of fluids. 

It is important to note that Eliquis has some side effects. Knowing these side effects can help you take this medication and reap the most benefits from taking it. Eliquis can produce a number of side effects. These can include the following:

  • Blood in urine

  • Blood in the eyes

  • Bruising

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Coughing up blood

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Purple spots on the skin

If you are considering taking this medication, it is important to weigh the benefits and risks of taking it. Experts do not know if Eliquis is safe for use in children. 

Before you take this medication, it is important to tell your doctor about any allergies you have. You should not take Eliquis if you have had a reaction to it or other medications. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to foods, animals, or preservatives. Studies have not found Eliquis to cause problems in the elderly population.



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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.