Alcohol And Inr

medically reviewed

His overall warfarin dose had to be decreased to 43.75 mg/week (average 6.25 mg/day). This was a 23% reduction compared with his prehospitalization regimen. This review addresses some of the contemporary issues pharmacists should keep in mind when counseling patients receiving warfarin therapy. Screening patients for consumption of certain foods, such as grapefruit, cranberry, and vitamin K-containing green leafy vegetables, may help reduce the risk of a food-drug interaction. Also, screening for lifestyle habits such as alcohol and tobacco use may help optimize care in patients taking warfarin.


Given the fatal effect of coagulopathy in severe cases of trauma, the clinical outcome of alcohol-intoxicated trauma cases is expected to be poor . A total of 686 patients who presented to our trauma center and underwent rotational thromboelastometry were included in the study. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine whether alcohol was an independent risk factor for in-hospital mortality and fibrinolysis shutdown. A prothrombin time test uses blood samples to measure how quickly your blood forms a clot.

It is used to prevent or treat blood clots in veins, arteries, or the heart, which can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other serious conditions. Patients with a history of atrial fibrillation , peripheral artery disease , heart attack, or knee or hip surgeries at risk for venous thromboembolism might be prescribed an anticoagulant. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Although drinking can potentially increase bleeding risks in people who use warfarin, alcoholcan still increase these riskson its own.

Hemorrhage is the leading cause of preventable deaths in trauma patients , and with acute traumatic coagulopathy the mortality rate of bleeding patients significantly increases . Previous studies have shown that coagulation impairment due to alcohol cannot be identified with the standard coagulation test, but it can be identified using VHA . Similar to the previous studies, we reported that prothrombin time INR was not different in the alcohol-positive and alcohol-negative groups, but EXTEM CT was significantly different.

drug interactions

A high PT level means it takes more time than usual for your body to form clots. Healthcare providers often do this test to monitor your prothrombin levels if you’re taking the blood thinner warfarin. This test is also used to investigate potential blood disorders. A high PT level means your body takes more time than normal to form blood clots.

If you have the following signs of bleeding, you should immediately call 911 or your health care professional. High levels of alcohol consumption can alter the way the body metabolizes warfarin. Keeping vitamin K levels stable, and within a normal range, may reduce its effect on the actions of warfarin.

Comparison of the alcohol-positive and alcohol-negative groups

The unusual feature of coagulation impairment due to alcohol is that it is not correlated with clinical results . Howard et al. conducted a single-center study using TEG on 264 severely traumatized patients at a Level 1 trauma center . They found that although the time for initial clot formation was prolonged in the blood alcohol-positive group, there was no significant difference in mortality and multiorgan failure. In subsequent studies conducted by the same group, impairment of clot generation and inhibition of fibrinolysis caused by alcohol were found . This bidirectional effect was suggested as the reason for the lack of correlation between coagulation impairment and clinical outcome.


It will also tell you how drinking can affect your risk of DVT. To further evaluate the relationship between alcohol and coagulopathy, recent studies have used viscoelastic hemostatic assays such as rotational thromboelastometry and thromboelastography . Recent studies using VHAs have shown that alcohol impairs clot formation and inhibits fibrinolysis . Moreover, an association between high blood alcohol and fibrinolysis shutdown was also observed .

In general, the use of oral anticoagulants is contraindicated in patients with malignant or severe, uncontrolled hypertension. These patients may be at increased risk for cerebral hemorrhage. Therapy with oral anticoagulants should be administered cautiously in patients with moderate hypertension.

Misusing alcohol when you have warfarin resistance may present added risks. If you take warfarin and an antidepressant, as well as alcohol, you risk hemorrhaging, especially if you lose motor skills and become dizzy. You may be more likely to have an accident or injury that leads to excessive bleeding. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records.

Managing drug-drug interactions related to warfarin and its sequelae should involve an interprofessional approach involving laboratory technicians, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians. The first step in managing these interactions often comes at the time of warfarin prescribing. Physicians should work closely with pharmacists to avoid prescribing medications that have interactions. If these medications are essential, adjusting the patient’s warfarin dose may be necessary with close follow-up and monitoring early in the treatment regimen. The patient should also receive education on the prevalence of these interactions, many of which exist with drugs or supplements that do not require a prescription. The newer oral anticoagulants do not have alcohol-drug interactions listed in their product labeling.

Alcohol and Warfarin, When Simplicity is More Complex than Complexity

Aspirin helps relieve pain and swelling, and it may reduce the alcohol poisoning of more serious issues. Examples of one drink are a 12-oz beer, a 4-oz glass of wine, 1/5 oz of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz of 100-proof spirits. The AHA suggest that, on average, men should drink no more than one or two drinks per day, and women should drink no more than one drink per day. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor to avoid bleeding. You may have small cuts that bleed more than normal, and for longer than normal.

Should you suddenly stop drinking, the INR will shoot upward and increase your risk of bleeding. The other thing that might happen is that the alcohol will irritate the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. If this get some bleeding started, it can be very difficult to stop. If you feel concerned that you cannot control your alcohol use in order to safely take warfarin or other medication that limits alcohol consumption, seek an assessment for alcohol use disorder. The first step in managing alcohol misuse and addiction is to get recommendations from a specialized professional. You can do this through an assessment administered by a licensed professional counselor.

  • By taking warfarin later in the day, healthcare providers have the opportunity to individualize the dose based on a patient’s current international normalized ratio .
  • Unlike previous studies, our study shows that the mortality rate of the alcohol-positive group was significantly higher than that of the alcohol-negative group.
  • You may feel a sting or prick when your healthcare provider inserts the needle.
  • The first step in managing these interactions often comes at the time of warfarin prescribing.
  • If you are on warfarin and are struggling to control your alcohol use, help is available at The Recovery Village.
  • INR results above 4.5 are less reliable than results lower than 4.5.

Keeping a food diary and being aware of foods that are high in vitamin K can help a person keep track. The average person only needs a small amount of vitamin K, around 60 to 80 micrograms per day. As this amount is so small, it can be easy for vitamin K levels to fluctuate across different days, creating a problem for people on warfarin. Daily moderate alcohol use (1 or 2 drinks – no more) has little effect on the INR.

How can I decrease my risk of bleeding?

The dose of warfarin is adapted based on INR scores so that it remains in the therapeutic range to prevent thrombosis from subtherapeutic INR or hemorrhagic complications from supratherapeutic INR. The anticoagulant effect of warfarin indicated by an INR in the target range also guides us when to discontinue heparin. Conventional coagulation testing can be performed in the laboratory setting to measure PT/INR. Warfarin is prescribed to prevent and treat blood clots in veins that carry blood to the heart, known as myocardial infarction . Warfarin blocks vitamin K coagulant factors for deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation. Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, like warfarin may be prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.


High levels of alcohol may affect the metabolism of warfarin and increase the risk of major bleeding. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers if you take anticoagulant medicine or have a bleeding disorder. Wear medical alert jewelry, or carry a card that gives this information. Patients with edema, hereditary coumarin resistance, hyperlipidemia, hypothyroidism, or nephrotic syndrome may exhibit lower than expected hypoprothrombinemic response to oral anticoagulants.

That means drinking alcohol can lead to a buildup of the drug in your body. You’re at even greater risk of this buildup if you have liver disease. A buildup of this drug in your body can increase the effects of warfarin too much.

I don’t drink alcohol but my INR levels have increased and thought it might… My brother’s heart recently stopped, due to alcohol consumption, he survive… Combining alcohol and warfarin is generally considered to be unsafe in any amount. However some individuals may be at higher risk for severe side effects.

For a patient with warfarin toxicity, treatment depends on the INR and the presence of bleeding. The first step in treating a patient is to discontinue warfarin and consider administering vitamin K. If the INR is over 10 without bleeding, oral vitamin K 1 to 5 mg is an option. Oral vitamin K may take up to 24 hours to fully reverse warfarin-induced coagulopathy. If a patient is bleeding, intravenous vitamin K may be dosed at 1 to 10 mg, depending on the severity.