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Alcohol May Act as a Blood Thinner, Study Finds

Warfarin (Jantoven) is a commonly used blood thinner (a coumarin oral anticoagulant). 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. One of these servings of alcohol per day, with at least two days per week without alcohol consumption, may benefit heart health.

is alcohol a blood thinner

Although alcohol does thin your blood, drinking instead of taking medication can be dangerous. Xarelto may cause other side effects, such as dizziness, fatigue, and stomach pain. If you drink alcohol while on Xarelto, these side effects can be worsened. In rare cases, Xarelto has also been reported to cause insomnia, anxiety, and depression.


Moderate drinking is one drink daily for women and two drinks daily for men. However, if you are taking blood thinners, drinking even that much may be risky. Your doctor should explain these important facts to you, along with information about your specific health status.

Drinking alcohol in moderation is legal for adults in the United States who are at least 21 years old. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), almost 87 percent of people in the US, ages 18 and older, drank alcohol at least once in their lives. About 70 percent of adults drank at least one alcoholic beverage in the past year, and around 56 percent report that they drank in the past month. However, few people drank more than 21 drinks per week, so the results could not be extrapolated to heavier drinkers. Have you just picked up your Eliquis medication from the drug store?

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Blood

The newer (novel) oral anticoagulants do not have alcohol-drug interactions listed in their product labeling. However, if you consume large amounts of alcohol at one time or drink alcohol on a daily basis, be sure to discuss this with your doctor. Heavy alcohol use may increase the risk of a stomach is alcohol a blood thinner ulcer or bleeding, and this can be worsened by an anticoagulant. For example, if you are drinking alcohol, make sure your doctor knows. Tell them about any medications you are taking and if there are any symptoms that you have experienced that may be related to those medications or your condition.

Only your doctor can tell you if it is safe for you to mix alcohol and blood thinners. Blood thinners are medications used to prevent and treat blood clots. But sometimes, a blood clot can form in — or travel to — an artery that supplies your heart or brain with oxygen-rich blood. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke. It can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart muscle.

Alcohol Abuse and Blood Clots

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Alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding caused by aspirin. The next step for Mukamal and his colleagues is to evaluatethese findings in other populations. “But [we] now identify a new avenue by which this effect may occur.”

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