Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Alcohol and blood thinners should never be mixed because they are extremely dangerous and can cause severe bleeding in the event of an accident or injury. If a doctor recommends blood thinners, it’s to reduce blood thinners and alcohol 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.

For example, if you fall and hit your head, bleeding can occur inside your skull. Or, if you hurt your arm during a fall and then notice a large purple bruise, this means you are bleeding under your skin. A pillbox with a slot for each day may help you keep track of your medicines. Alcohol does not have an effect on the thickness of your blood. The myth may have started because people who drink beer are often seen as relaxed and laid back, which could be interpreted as having thinner blood.

What are blood thinners and how do they work?

Doctors warn people who are taking Aggrenox to moderate their alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking with these drugs increases the risk of stomach bleeding. 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. Your liver is responsible for processing alcohol and some medications.

The most common side effects from taking a blood thinner are bruising and the development of a rash. The most serious side effect is uncontrolled bleeding, especially internal bleeding. Hemorrhaging is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Using Other Medicines

Excessive drinking and chronic alcohol use can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Binge drinking can temporarily raise your blood pressure, and consistent heavy drinking can raise cause hypertension. High blood pressure can lead to several long-term health risks like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

blood thinners and alcohol

Antiplatelets, such as aspirin and clopidogrel, prevent blood cells called platelets from clumping together to form a clot. Antiplatelets are mainly taken by people who have had a heart attack or stroke. Cases and controls did not differ in AUDIT-C score results, but cases were more likely to report heavy episodic drinking . No material on this site, whether from our doctors or the community, is a substitute for seeking personalized professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

PE occurs when there’s a blood clot in one of the pulmonary arteries of the lungs, which typically happens when the clot moves from another location such as the legs or arms. Call your doctor and go to the hospital immediately if you have had a fall or hit your head, even if you are not bleeding.

  • The condition decreases platelets in plasma below 150,000 microliters.
  • If you consume a lot of alcohol, your chances of having a bleeding stroke are also increased.
  • Doctors warn people who are taking Aggrenox to moderate their alcohol consumption.
  • If you consume alcohol, it may have an effect on the consistency of your blood, which is one of the many functions of the body.
  • From my own experience I was told not to drink alcohol unless it was for a very special occasion.

Alcohol is mostly broken down in the liver, which serves to filter out toxins from the blood. Alcohol can stimulate the liver to then increase production of HDL (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), which can then work to break down LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol).

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