Additionally, alcohol acts as a blood thinner and increases the risk of internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can occur in any part of the body where there are large blood vessels, such as your stomach or intestines. It may also occur in areas with low pressure, such as the brain (i.e., subdural hematoma). Both types of medications can increase the risk of bleeding if you drink alcohol while taking them.

  • Below are some answers to common questions about the effects of alcohol on the cardiovascular system.
  • Combining these drugs with alcohol can make the risks and side effects worse, especially if you have liver disease.
  • Some studies have shown that in moderation, wine is actually a heart-healthy form of alcohol.
  • For this reason, people who use alcohol may find that they bleed more easily and for longer periods.

If your body is accustomed to heavy alcohol use, it can be dangerous to quit drinking without medical advice and supervision. If you or a loved one suspects you are suffering from alcohol use disorder, call and speak with an alcohol addiction treatment center as soon as possible. Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, an antioxidant flavonoid that may lower bad cholesterol levels and thereby minimize the potential for blood clots. Antioxidants called polyphenols, of which resveratrol is one, may aid in the protection of the lining of blood vessels within the heart as well. Red wine is fermented for a longer amount of time with the grape skins than white wine is, meaning it will contain more resveratrol, which is why it is typically thought to be more heart healthy.

What Are Blood Thinners?


If your liver is busy working hard removing the alcohol instead of your blood thinner, the level of the drug in your blood will go up and raise your bleeding risk. In some cases, moderate consumption is OK while taking blood thinners, other times it is not. Generally it’s never a good idea to drink while on blood thinners, but if your doctor says it is ok in moderation you should be fine. Blood thinners are medications used to prevent and treat blood clots. Mixing Pradaxa and alcohol has significant effects, as it increases the risk that bleeding will occur by boosting the effects of the Pradaxa.

wine and blood thinners

Alcohol use can also interfere with your kidney’s normal function, causing them to overproduce urine, which can make staying properly hydrated while drinking alcohol more of a challenge. Not to mention that the alcohol itself is dehydrating, so drinking water and electrolyte replenishing beverages is even more important. We offer private, professional behavioral health care at facilities around the country. Our treatments include a range of inpatient and outpatient programs which feature 100% evidence-based & trauma informed cutting-edge treatment modalities. Looking to help someone with their alcohol addiction, we have provided some more information for those seeking guidance.

What Are The Side Effects Of Blood Thinners?

With their guidance, you will be able to stay healthy and enjoy all that life has in store while managing any health condition or medication you may need at the same time. Alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding caused by aspirin. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

  • So, if you do experience brain damage or shrinkage as a result of drinking, those effects are likely to be very long lasting and may be functionally permanent.
  • For the current research, the team examined data and blood samples taken from 2,013 participants in the larger, ongoing Framingham Offspring Study, a study of risk factors for heart disease.
  • Contact us today to learn more about alcohol addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

Alcohol can reduce some of the “stickiness” of red blood cells, which can lower the odds of blood clotting. Blood clots in thickened arteries or veins are often what contributes to heart attacks and strokes. By reducing the likelihood that these blood cells will stick together and form a clot, alcohol may then “thin” the blood and help to prevent cardiac complications. Acting as a blood thinner, alcohol can then also lower the risk for a stroke, which is when there is a reduced flow of blood to the brain due to blocked or narrowed arteries. If you are taking a blood thinner, the risk of bleeding is even greater. Alcohol can interact with certain medications to increase their potency, leading to dangerous side effects.

Are some blood thinners different than others in this regard, or is it all the same risk?

This is why some people extol the benefits of moderate drinking for heart health. The theory is that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol protects against blood clots that may block an artery, blood thinners and alcohol trigger a heart attack, or cause an ischemic stroke. Always consult your doctor about drinking while on your blood thinner medication—they are the best person to decide if it’s safe for you.

  • While some people may be able to drink in moderation while taking blood thinners, it is typically best to avoid it.
  • Depending on the blood thinner, the effects can last for hours or even days.
  • So, in a sense, alcohol can help to create a healthy balance of good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol, further lowering the odds for a heart attack or stroke.

A study conducted at Georgetown’s University Medical Center determined that alcohol found in approximately two drinks has the capability of decreasing platelet clumping. This clumping of platelets as well as other factors is an essential component of the blood clotting process. If you have a medical condition (such as atrial fibrillation) that puts you at risk for developing a blood clot, your doctor might prescribe anticoagulant medications to “thin” your blood. While these drugs make it less likely your body will form blood clots, they also make you bleed more easily. He said that, in the United States, heart attacks greatly outnumber “bleeding-type strokes,” in which copious amounts of blood cause a vessel to burst.