Warfarin

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I've been on warfarin for 4 weeks and slowly getting to my target of 2-3 (1.6 at last clinic). I want to know more about the interaction with alcohol. Does taking warfarin mean that I'm more at risk JUST BECAUSE I'M DRINKING or is it because if I have an accident I'm more likely to bleed more?

Thanks for reading this.

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I've been on warfarin for just over a year. What I was told about warfarin and drinking was that alcohol mixed with warfarin increases the rate at which you bleed, so if you cut yourself or have an accident you'd be in trouble. You can drink alcohol but only 3 units a day for men and 2 units for women. Getting drunk at the weekend is a definate no no. I hope I've been some help.
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    • Posted

      Well that's my point - is it because you're more likely to have an accident BECAUSE you've been drinking? Anyway, thanks for your help :-)
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    • Posted

      NO! That is not the only factor alcohol affects your INR level so that you will never get a level reading. Drink over the limits and the next week your dosage will have to be adjusted and that will go on week after week if your intake fluctuates.. 

      The whole point of Warfarin is to keep your INR reading constant to prevent you from having a clot form to cause you a stroke.

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    • Posted

      hi Christine - i am on warfarin and drink - although i prefer not to have a drink every night i like a drink at week-ends - i drink around 3 bottles wine per week which my GP has told me is binge drinking over 3 nights - my INR has been stable for the last 9 months.  however i tend to have this checked on a weekday and get the results the next morning - my INR is usually around 2.3 - i went out mid-week and had drinks with friends (rather a lot) nxt day had blood test.  was woken at 8am next morning by nurse to tell me INR had gone up to 3.8 and not to take any warfarin nxt day so i guess it does mess with it. my conclusion is that if alcohol thins the blood why can't we halve the dose! 
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    • Posted

      I expect that  it only thins the blood in conjuction with alcohol.

      When my reading went to 3.8 due to being prescribed Amiodarone the nurse just scratched her head and fractionally reduced my warfarin in each of the next three weeks until I researched the reason for the change.

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    • Posted

      My INR reading alters when having to increase replacement steroids to fight illness,also taking antibiotics, painkillers ,and any other alteration to the dose of my other meds.Even gels and creams for pain relief alter it.First time I used Deep Heat,ended up with migraine and altered reading.Cranberries and grapefruit should be avoided,and spinach should not be eaten too much.Have been on Warfarin for 18 years,am 50 years old,and it's been very difficult to keep warfarin stable ,with additional health issues.Anti-inflammatories are an absolute no no.Don't even bother to drink alcohol now.
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    • Posted

      I was warned when I had a steroid injection that it would affect my INR.

      Mine (when taking it) was quite stable for a while and I was put on six week testing then I was prescribed antibiotics for a prostate infection and another change of medcation that completely changed things. 

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    • Posted

      That's right,Derek.Then when you think things are stable,with no new meds or changes,your level goes haywire for apparently no reason.Have also found,talking to our surgery nurses,that when the weather's hot like now,everybody's levels are thrown.Gill
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    • Posted

      They say that heat thins the blood.

      I have been on Warfarin twice and stopped it as it gave me pain in my weight bearing joints.

      I know that they wil want me back on it after I get my pacemaker.

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    • Posted

      I would think so,Derek.Good luck with that.I was originally on heparin injections/warfarin/heparin injections throughout most of my pregnancy in 1990,having developed serious DVTs in both legs in early pregnancy.I had to have permanent metal filter put in one of my veins to prevent movement of clots to vital organs.Having had my son,I was taken off the anticoagulants,only to develop another DVT 7 years later,when I also became ill with another rare illness.At that point,I was put on warfarin permanently and still developed another clot about 3 years later.Hence,I'm now on 2.5-3.5 range.Four years ago,I was finally told I was positive for Factor V Leiden mutation,so am more prone to clots.This info meant that I was told to advise my family to be tested.My son is clear,but my 2 sisters are positive,but have never had problems.However,this should be mentioned if they have any surgical procedure.It was a shock,as we'd never heard of the condition.Not sure why I explained all this,but it might be of use to anyone following this discussion.Gill
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    • Posted

      Which vein was the device put into? There is now a new procedure on trial to prevent clots getting out by fitting a filter into the left atrial appendage of the heart.

      There are so many hereditary conditions that we were previously unaware of. Do your sisters have children. It must be a burden to think you have passed on a problem to future generations.

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    • Posted

      Yes,both sisters have children.Thankfully my son is negative,and has been told that he cannot pass it on,even though some things can miss a generation,but this one can't.I hope my nieces and nephews are also negative.It tends to affect women more,because of all the hormone changes we go through.

      My filter is in my Inferior Vena Cava,at about waist level,and was inserted in the groin.It was actually fascinating,as I was conscious and watching it on a screen.

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    • Posted

      Hello, I was rushed into hospital several weeks ago with multiple blood clots including in my aorta, I'm now on warfarin daily, I am a socialable lady and we socialise most weekends however with the alcohol guidelines I haven't been out on a social evening for a while.  Would 3 units on a night out do me any harm, I do stick to the 2 units a day rule 😩

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