Warfarin is one of the most popular drugs used to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT). That’s because it’s very effective. However, like any medication, how well it works for you is also affected by your lifestyle. If drinking alcohol is a part of your lifestyle, you may wonder how alcohol can affects your DVT and medication. This article will help shed light on how alcohol interacts with warfarin. It will also tell you how drinking can affect your risk of DVT.
How does drinking alcohol affect warfarin?
There are no specific recommendations against drinking alcohol while you take warfarin, but alcohol can affect how warfarin works. It slows down how quickly your body breaks down warfarin. 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.
Alcohol can also cause your body to make fewer platelets than normal. Platelets are the cells in your body that start the blood clotting process. Warfarin also interferes with the clotting process, so drinking alcohol while you take warfarin can increase your risk of major bleeding.
If you do decide to drink while taking warfarin, you should only drink occasionally. That means you should avoid drinking on a daily basis. You should also limit the amount you drink to one or two servings.
How does alcohol affect DVT?
Alcohol does effect your risk of DVT. In some cases, it can decrease your risk. There are times when drinking can increase your risk, as well. The effect of alcohol on your risk of DVT depends on many factors, including:
- how much you drink
- how often you drink
- what you drink, such as beer, wine, or liquor
- your age
- your biological sex
It’s always important to have an honest conversation with your doctor about alcohol. Your doctor can help you better understand your individual risk.
What is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a type of vein. Veins return blood to your heart. The blood flow in your veins is slower than the blood flow in your arteries. This is because the blood doesn’t have as much momentum from your heart beat pushing the blood out to your body. If you are moving less than normal, your blood flow becomes even slower. When your blood flow is slower than normal, the risk of it accidently clumping together in your blood vessels is greater. This is especially true in your larger veins, which carry more blood. DVT is a blood clot that forms on one or more of these large deep veins in your body, usually in your legs.
DVT is more likely to happen in people who:
- have just had surgery
- have been in an accident that has limited their movement
- are older and may not move around as much
- have a condition that affects how their blood clots
If you don’t treat DVT, it can get bigger and break loose. If the clot breaks loose, it can flow in your bloodstream through your heart and into the small blood vessels of your lungs. This is where it can lodge and block your blood flow. This is called a pulmonary embolism, and it can cause death. Therefore, effective treatment and prevention of DVT with drugs like warfarin is important.
Warfarin is affected by alcohol. However, how alcohol affects your therapy with warfarin depends on many different things, including what and how much you drink. Also, individual differences such as age, gender, and medical history can affect your risk of DVT if you drink alcohol. It is important to talk to your doctor to get the best understanding of how alcohol will most likely affect your therapy with warfarin.