Blood Thinner Drugs and Alcohol: A Dangerous Mix?

This healthy type of cholesterol helps protect your arteries and prevent the blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. If a doctor recommends blood thinners, it’s to reduce the risk of certain health concerns. Replacing that medication with alcohol does not provide the effects the doctor was aiming for. And it also increases the risk of other issues, such as hemorrhagic stroke.

  • When you get hurt, blood cells called platelets gather at the injury site and form a blood clot.
  • Of the relationships with maximum absorbance, the ones with %CDT and GGT-CDT did not remain after accounting for total fibrinogen.
  • Binge drinking can temporarily raise your blood pressure, and consistent heavy drinking can raise cause hypertension.
  • This can help them determine if something is causing an interaction that could lead to serious bleeding.

Some authorities insist that—even in small quantities—the harmful effects of alcohol outweigh the benefits, because alcohol-related liver disease remains the main cause of liver-related mortality worldwide . Our research shows that, in terms of haemostasis, modest amounts of alcohol seem to be beneficial. From a genetics viewpoint, we show here that for individuals harbouring certain genotypes, alcohol intake may be more beneficial than for others. A better understanding of diet-gene interactions has important implications for therapeutic decision making and lifestyle education.

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The associations between alcohol intake and its markers with CLT remained after controlling for total fibrinogen concentration, particularly in drinkers, but not in abstainers. These associations also remained after additional adjustment for BMI and HbA1c . Statistica® version 13.3 (TIBCO Software Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA) and SAS System for Windows (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA) were used for analyses.

can alcohol cause blood clots

Their use must be carefully monitored to ensure that the blood does not become too thin. As many as three million people take blood thinners each year, but some may not be aware of how these medications interact with substances like alcohol. On their own, blood thinners can create a number of health risks and increase the chances of serious bleeding. When combined with alcohol use, however, the risks become much more severe. Alcoholic liver disease is aspectrum of liver problemslinked to drinking.

If you need help recovering from an alcohol use disorder, Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart offers Florida alcohol detox and addiction treatment that focuses on both the physical and mental aspects of recovery. From 24-hour care for withdrawal symptoms to individual therapy sessions with our counselors, patients receive our assistance every step of the way. Plavix increases the risk of stomach bleeding when coupled with daily alcohol use. Alcohol use should be limited while on Plavix, and specific cases should be discussed with a doctor.

Depending on the blood thinner, the effects can last for hours or even days. Because blood thinners are designed to have a constant effect over time, they are typically designed to be long-lasting. As we mentioned earlier, thin blood can increase your risk of excessive bleeding and stroke. This can be especially dangerous for someone who’s taken blood thinners or has a heart condition.

Normally distributed data are expressed as mean (95% confidence intervals ), and not-normally distributed data as median . Differences between the genders, HIV status and drinking status in terms of coagulation factors were determined by Mann–Whitney U tests and among tobacco use subgroups, using Kruskal–Wallis analysis of variance . Sometimes, however, a blood clot can appear in an artery that supplies your heart or brain with oxygen-rich blood. When a clot blocks blood flow to your heart, it can cause a heart attack. If it blocks the blood flow to your brain, it can cause a stroke.

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Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex , Cerner Multum™ , ASHP and others. The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

When you’re injured, blood cells called platelets rush to the injury. The effects of Xarelto can be affected by alcohol, and those taking the medication should limit the amount of alcohol used. While some alcohol may be safe, specific situations should be discussed with a doctor.

The information provided by is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. Thin blood also causes issues with blood clotting, bruising, and healing from injuries. And another cause of low platelet production is chronic liver disease .

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Alcohol can also cause underlying health problems that affect the liver, which plays a vital role in how blood thinners work and how blood clotting occurs. Blood thinners are drugs your doctor prescribes to prevent blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. If your doctor has prescribed one of these medicines, it’s because you have heart disease or another condition that increases your risk for clots. Combining alcohol and blood thinner medications such as warfarin can lead to drug interactions.

This condition, often caused by drinking too much alcohol, lowers the hormone that stimulates platelet production. Besides causing bleeding disorders from cirrhosis, drinking is alsolinked to anemia. Every second, millions of blood cells are produced in the body. In turn, conditions like anemia, low white blood cells and low platelet counts can result. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles.

Blood platelets also release proteins called clotting factors that act as plugs to close the wound. Otherwise known as thrombosis, blood clotting is a vital step in healing from an injury. Coumadin is one of the most commonly used blood thinners in the U.S., but it carries a 3% to 6% risk of major bleeding. Alcohol should be avoided when taking Coumadin, as it is one of the most serious risk factors for complications with this medication.

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Exceeding the recommended guidelines above is considered heavy drinking. It’s important to talk with a doctor about drinking alcohol while taking blood thinner medications. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

can alcohol cause blood clots

In addition, some direct-acting oral anticoagulants are broken down in the liver; if you have alcohol-induced liver disease, tell your healthcare provider. In animal studies, CBD has been shown to be an effective tool against some of the characteristics of alcohol use disorder. Research demonstrates that CBD helps to reduce alcohol intake, motivation for alcohol and relapse. Alcoholincreases the effects of Lovenoxand generally should not be used while taking Lovenox. If your doctor says that it is OK to combine these two substances, you should still only use alcohol in moderation and monitor for potential bleeding. Mixing alcohol and Brilinta could lead to increased dizziness.

Depending on how this interaction works, it could cause the blood to become too thin, creating a high risk for bleeding from minor injuries. It could also reverse the effects of the blood thinners, increasing the risk of dangerous conditions like heart attack or stroke. The process of blood clotting is very complex, with multiple chains of chemical reactions called the “clotting cascade” that must occur to develop a blood clot. Blood thinners slow parts of this process, making blood clots form more slowly.

Key Takeaways on the Effects of Alcohol

But sometimes, a blood clot can form in — or travel to — an artery that supplies your heart or brain with oxygen-rich blood. A person who is uncertain whether they can drink alcohol while taking blood thinners should speak with a doctor. Anyone who experiences severe symptoms, such as constant bleeding, intense pain, or dizziness, should seek emergency care. Occasional, moderate alcohol use should be safe for most people who are taking blood thinners. For example, people with liver problems may need to limit their alcohol use more strictly.

Therefore, people should always check with a doctor or pharmacist whether it is safe to drink alcohol with a particular blood thinner. In fact, a BMC study found that the anticoagulant effects of moderate alcohol use could reduce your risk of ischemic stroke. In a 2017 study, researchers found that the risk of VTE increases significantly among people who are hospitalized for alcohol intoxication. Excessive alcohol consumption also affects judgment and increases the likelihood of accidents, falls, and other injuries. It also contributes to weight gain, which is a risk factor for DVT.

Blood clots are serious because they can block the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. By reducing the stickiness of the platelets in your blood, red wine can help prevent blood clots and reduce your risk for health complications. Interactions that remained after accounting for multiple testing and false discovery rates according to Hochberg and Benjamini are reported; the statistical threshold for significance was p37]. One of these servings of alcohol per day, with at least two days per week without alcohol consumption, may benefit heart health. However, there is no such thing as completely safe drinking, so if you have any concerns about heart health, it is better to avoid drinking. This is especially true for those who have a family history of heart disease or blood disorders, or who are on any kind of prescription medication, including blood thinners.

Blood Thinners and Alcohol:

This result may be because of the increased age, which is a risk factor for VTE, as demonstrated by Oger in 2000. Also the increased comorbidities, such as cancer and stroke, among elder patients could also moderate the incidence of AI. There were increased widths of 95% CIs among young and female subjects. This could be result from the relative small sample size of these 2 groups. We also found that there were much fewer AI events among female subjects.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Researchers have found that low-to-moderate drinking could reduce certain processes that lead to heart disease and inflammation. However, more research is necessary to determine whether alcohol use is directly responsible for these possible heart benefits. Your best defense is to have little or no alcohol on a long flight and to get up and walk around as much as you can during the flight. Here are more tips to reduce your risk for blood clots while flying. Most of the participants in this study were men (90.1%), and nearly seven-tenths were younger than 50-years old.