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Warfarin interacts with a lot of drugs and certain food products. These can increase or decrease the warfarin levels in a person's body.
Certain foods and 'natural' health products can affect warfarin levels. Some increase the level (for example: ginko bilboa) while others reduce the warfarin effect (ginseng). Vitamin K, in particular, decreases the effect of warfarin. There are large amounts of vitamin K in certain foods such as liver. broccoli. brussels sprouts, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, coriander and cabbage.
The interaction between alcohol and warfarin is complex. Alcohol acts as a mild anticoagulant. It also can affect the metabolism of the liver, which is important for metabolising warfarin. As a rule of thumb, two to three drinks per day - glasses of wine. beer etc, are unlikely to affect your warfarin levels.
You can minimise your risk of warfarin interactions by taking your warfarin medication at the same time each day and testing your blood regularly (ideally with a home monitor). Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before trying any new 'natural' remedies or supplements.
If you are already taking one of these products and warfarin, do not change your routine unless you have discussed it with your health professional, and go easy on the foods that affect warfarin.
Foods that affect warfarin levels are:
- cranberry juice
- flax (flaxseed)
- seaweed (sushi wrap)
- soy protein products (including soymilk and tofu).
Hope this helps.