Advice on alcohol and diet when taking Warfarin

Advice on alcohol


While alcohol can be a source of pleasure and enjoyment, drinking too much or at the wrong time, can cause problems when on warfarin. Alcohol has a marked affect on the action of warfarin.

The important thing is to know where the benefits end and the risks begin!

We recommend that you should drink the same amount of alcohol each day, thus avoiding big variations in the amount you drink from day to day. The guide to the amount of alcohol that is both safe to drink and good for your general health, is no more than 21 units of alcohol for a man or 15 units for a woman a week.

1 unit of alcohol equals:
  • Half pint of ordinary strength pub beer, lager or cider
  • Small glass of wine
  • Single measure of spirit
Please remember that some drinks are stronger than others. The strength of alcoholic drinks is shown on the labels.

Advice on diet


Vitamin K rich foods are generally very nutritious, so aim for consistency in your intake of these foods. Suddenly increasing or decreasing the vitamin K in your diet can change how well your warfarin works.

You donít have to avoid them, just eat a balanced diet and a variety of foods. If your normal pattern is, for example, to have two servings of the following foods, do not suddenly eat a large amount of them. Examples of vitamin k rich foods include:
  • Avocado Pear
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Watercress
  • Soya bean products
  • Lettuce (dark green)
  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Liver
We recommend that you do not make changes in the level of consumption of these foods as stopping, starting or changing will affect the INR value.
Working on it!