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Foods That Interact With Coumadin

Coumadin® (warfarin sodium) is a prescription anticoagulant medication. One of the downsides of this medication is that there are many beverages and foods that interact with Coumadin. While there is no specific diet for people taking this anticoagulant, there are general guidelines that should be followed to help improve the safety of the medication.
If a person taking Coumadin consumes much more vitamin K than he or she usually does, this will make the drug less effective, which could increase the risk of blood clots. Similarly, if he or she consumes less vitamin K, this could increase the effects of the drug, perhaps even causing a Coumadin overdose.
Alcohol intake can also affect Coumadin in various ways. A consistent, moderate intake (such as one drink per day) is usually okay for most people. However, binge drinking or even "saving up" your daily drinks for the weekend can increase the risk of bleeding, including dangerous internal bleeding. Chronic, significant alcohol use (such as with alcoholism) can have the opposite effect, making Coumadin less effective by increasing the risk of blood clots, while at the same time increasing the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
(Click Coumadin Diet for a more compete list of foods that interact with Coumadin, to learn about the science behind such interactions, and to find out whether there are any foods that you must avoid completely.)
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