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Drinking while taking Warfarin(Coumadin)

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  • Drinking while taking Warfarin(Coumadin)

    I have a little problem, which may be so important for some of you, I think.
    I underwent surgery on the heart last year. Now my aortic valve is mechanical. As most of you do, I have to take Warfarin everyday after supper. Inconvenient, but it is alright. Until the day I die, I probably keep taking it.
    Well, the problem is alcohol. As a matter of fact, those who take Warfain should not drink more than two cans of beer, I suppose. Those who don't like to drink can live with the fact alright. But, like me, people who love to drink to get drunk, they feel bad about it. Emptiness. Stress. Sorrow. Without liquor is like without music, I should say. In truth, however, to be honest, I have never drunk any alcoholic bevarage since the surgery. I feel that to drink would cause something awful.
    I'd like to know what other Warfarin takers do when they want to drink.
    Is there any other stimuli that make me at east again? For a Warfarin taker, of course. I would like to know what you are doing

  • #2
    Hi Nick,

    I can relate to what you say. The general rule with warfarin and
    alcohol is to be careful. Some say this means you can have 2 drinks,
    otherīs canīt have any, some can drink more. Some find it useless
    as they do not want to mess up their INR once it is steady.

    I think you always have to be careful and try to find your level and
    avoid getting drunk at all times and if you drink some, be sure to be
    consistent so that your dose will be adjusted around it.

    But in general you have to accept the fact you will have to drink
    moderately. I missed the feeling of having a few drinks(too many?),
    but once you know how warfarin works, you canīt relax drinking too
    much anyhow, so I guess the problem solves itself.....

    Cheers!

    /
    Martin

    Comment


    • #3
      Nick, this subject is often discussed in VR. If you search 'alcohol', you should find several threads that you can read. Good luck.
      Ann
      My philosophy:
      No matter where you are, who you are with, what you are doing, enjoy every moment, every day. Blessins.........

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Nick,

        Just thought I would share a few thoughts on this topic.

        First... the "2" drink rule. This rule is a standard rule promoted by the American Heart Association. This rule has nothing at all to do with whether or not you are on Coumadin. It is the standard. Any doctor will tell you that "2 drinks a day" is the rule or guideline for any healthy individual.

        http://www.americanheart.org/present...identifier=581

        But if you have heart disease.. then you may find this of interest also.

        http://www.americanheart.org/present...dentifier=4422


        Personally.. I limited myself to 2 drinks per day at first.. but not anymore. I test my INR weekly and for the most part it is stable, and I adjust my dosage if needed to bring me back into range. I have not had any problems or issues in 5 years. ( my doctor once said.. "Managing Coumadin is a matter of consistency.. So.... if you are going to drink.. Drink consistently" Perhaps a little tongue and check.. but.. he does have a point... !

        Lifting my glass to you and good health,
        Rob

        The only thing I did notice is that if I go on vacation and drink alot, MY INR will most likely be around 4.5 when I return.
        3/23/00 Ascending Aortic Dissection-St. Judes mech valve+graft, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
        9/16/10 ON-X Aortic Valve/Root Replacment, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr Pettersson
        9/16/10 Aortic Stent and Frozen Elephant Trunk Procedure, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr. Roselli

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice info Rob! I too like to drink and at times, drink more then 2 glasses a night. Do you test your INR at home? Will

          Comment


          • #6
            Nick

            Good that you are not drinking now. Consistancy is very important in INR management. I drink every once in a blue blue, so to speak. I very rarely drink more than one drink, since the alchol disease runs rampant in my family, both side. So it is up to you how much you drink, if any. Do not feel bad about pulling back in drinking, probably better for you and the liver anyway. When you drink in excess, it can hurt your body. My father died from complications, unclear to this date. He had heart disease, diabetes, perhaps other health problems that was not helped with excessive drinking. So, do what you want on the drinking. I just choose to drink lightly, if ever. Welcome to the boards.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have wine with dinner three to four evenings during the week.
              On weekends I am a "social drinker". Sometimes that is two drinks, sometimes it is six. My doctor doesn't have a problem with this.
              I enjoy drinking alcohol, particularly a good Merlot.
              This evening I am sitting here on my fourth glass of wine watching the Masters golf.
              Earlier this afternoon I rode 25 hard miles on my bike in training for my next triathlon. I'm in better physical shape than 99% of my "healthy" friends, so having a few drinks doesn't concern me very much.

              Mark
              "It doesn't get easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond


              Mark U in Sarasota. FL
              Congenital Bicuspid Aortic Valve
              27mm St. Jude, 12-15-00

              Comment


              • #8
                Since my surgery 6 weeks ago, I have not had any liquor at all. Or spinach or broccoli, for that matter. I wanted to get my coumadin level straight before I started indulging. And my INR had been so low I was really scared.

                Here is my question: If liquor raises the INR and Vitamin K lowers it, why not have wine with a spinach salad? They would cancel each other out?

                Is there a big difference of the effect of wine vs. hard liquor vs. beer on the INR?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nick, I come from a long and distinguished line of alcoholics, and as you apparantly do, enjoy binge drinking. In a weird way going on Coumadin/Warfarin was a blessing in disguise - very well disguised, I might say - since I've got to limit my drinking to a couple of drinks now.

                  If I answer your question of alternatives to booze that you can do while on Coumadin, I'll likely get banned. Sorry.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No alternatives!

                    Originally posted by Barry

                    If I answer your question of alternatives to booze that you can do while on Coumadin, I'll likely get banned. Sorry.
                    Anybody with half-a-brain who has controlled or uncontrolled chronic A-fib has no business messing around with "alternatives" if he values his heart health!
                    The first child and the fifth patient to survive heart valve replacement surgery. 51 years and counting since my first HVR!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The real problem with alcohol is not the increase in the INR, it is the irritation to the lining of the stomach. The two drink rule is more to prevent this. If the irritation causes a tiny spot of bleeding the warfarin may help it to become a significant bleed. The amount you can consume is up to the individual. I suspect that if your stomach ever feels upset after drinking, then you are approaching the bleeding stage.

                      It really speaks a lot about human nature that we are talking about two sets of guidelines - the INR and alcohol. Many people use the word spiked for an INR that it barely above the range, but nobody uses the word spiked for doubling the recommended amount of alcohol. How can we be so strict about one and so casual about the other when they are just two different ways of preventing the same tragedy?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RCB
                        Anybody with half-a-brain who has controlled or uncontrolled chronic A-fib has no business messing around with "alternatives" if he values his heart health!
                        Question of whether one is going to fool around with so-called "alternatives" is a separate issue from identifying what they are. One speaks to action, the other to information. It is common in our society to put limits on what one does; that's what laws are about.

                        But it seems that we are increasingly putting limits not just on what one is allowed to do, but also on what one is allowed to know.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Barry
                          Question of whether one is going to fool around with so-called "alternatives" is a separate issue from identifying what they are. One speaks to action, the other to information. It is common in our society to put limits on what one does; that's what laws are about.

                          But it seems that we are increasingly putting limits not just on what one is allowed to do, but also on what one is allowed to know.
                          Sorry Pal, but as everyone that does have half-a-brain knows, the culture that knows about "alternatives" does so not because of the pursuit of knowledge, but rather for consumption of said "alternatives". No matter
                          how much you attempt to rationalize your "research" it has no place on a forum which is devoted to promote a heathy heart. There are many ways to poison a heart, they don't need to be listed on this site. Anyone who tries to make a mockery of this site by so called "discussion", "research", "seeking knowledge" of more and better ways to harm the heart- has not the best interest of this site or its members. Only a fool would argue that amounts to "limiting what one is allowed to know". Don't lay that BS on me- I won't play that stupid game.

                          PS Barry- I won't reply to this thread anymore because to do so is highjacking
                          and discussing it further is like fighting in the mud with a pig- the pig enjoys it too much and all one gets is dirty, especially if one suspects the pig might be under the influence of "alternatives."
                          The first child and the fifth patient to survive heart valve replacement surgery. 51 years and counting since my first HVR!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32).

                            As RCB points out, this is a highly inappropriate opinion that has since been over-ruled to ensure that people don't do stupid things.

                            I guess I'm outta here. I have an inherent tendency to stir up controversy, and that's not a good trait to have around here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by William
                              Nice info Rob! I too like to drink and at times, drink more then 2 glasses a night. Do you test your INR at home? Will
                              Hi William,

                              Yes I test at home on a weekly basis.

                              Regards,
                              Rob
                              3/23/00 Ascending Aortic Dissection-St. Judes mech valve+graft, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
                              9/16/10 ON-X Aortic Valve/Root Replacment, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr Pettersson
                              9/16/10 Aortic Stent and Frozen Elephant Trunk Procedure, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr. Roselli

                              Comment

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