• Open Access

Apixaban, an oral, direct factor Xa inhibitor: single dose safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and food effect in healthy subjects


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Dr Charles Frost PharmD, Discovery Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mail Stop E12-16, Route 206 and Province Line Road, Princeton, NJ 08543-4000, USA.

Tel.: 609 252 3552

Fax: 609 252 6313

E-mail: charles.frost@bms.com



To evaluate apixaban single dose safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and assess the effect of food on apixaban pharmacokinetics.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending-dose, first-in-human study assessed apixaban safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in healthy subjects randomized to oral apixaban (n = 43; 0.5–2.5 mg as solution or 5–50 mg as tablets) or placebo (n = 14) under fasted conditions. An open label, randomized, two treatment crossover study investigated apixaban pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics in healthy subjects (n = 21) administered apixaban 10 mg in fasted and fed states. Both studies measured apixaban plasma concentration, international normalized ratio (INR), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and prothrombin time (PT) or a modified PT (mPT).


In the single ascending-dose study increases in apixaban exposure appeared dose-proportional. Median tmax occurred 1.5–3.3 h following oral administration. Mean terminal half-life ranged between 3.6 and 6.8 h following administration of solution doses ≤2.5 mg and between 11.1 and 26.8 h for tablet doses ≥5 mg. Concentration-related changes in pharmacodynamic assessments were observed. After a 50 mg dose, peak aPTT, INR and mPT increased by 1.2-, 1.6- and 2.9-fold, respectively, from baseline. In the food effect study: 90% confidence intervals of geometric mean ratios of apixaban Cmax and AUC in a fed vs. fasted state were within the predefined no effect (80–125%) range. Apixaban half-life was approximately 11.5 h. The effect of apixaban on INR, PT and aPTT was comparable following fed and fasted administration.


Single doses of apixaban were well tolerated with a predictable pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile and a half-life of approximately 12 h. Apixaban can be administered with or without food.