Medicines can be effected by a patient’s diet so here are 10 foods to avoid while taking Coumadin. Foods high in Vitamin K can have a negative interaction with this drug and potentially cause a life threatening condition. Read all information provided with this drug and if you have any questions, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
The active ingredient in Coumadin is Warfarin an anticoagulant medication prescribed to prevent blood clots from forming in the body to quickly. Blood clots can cause a heart attack, a stroke or cause other medical conditions by forming in the legs or lungs. Due to certain medical conditions this can be the difference between life and death. International Normalized Ratio (INT) and Prothrombin Time (PT) are laboratory tests and are the measurements of time it takes a clot to form. Monthly tests will be required to monitor the levels of INT/PT and maintain consistency while on Coumadin. The dosage of the medication may need to be adjusted based on test results.
Vitamin K enhances the body’s ability to form blood clots. Some foods, vitamins and herbal supplements are high in Vitamin K and should be avoided in large quantities while on this medication. The effects of the drug are diminished when a patient’s diet is high in Vitamin K. It is important to discuss all dietary changes, alcohol consumption and vitamins or herbal supplements with your health care professional to determine the proper dosage.
The 10 Foods to Avoid While on Coumadin
- Vitamin K supplements. It may seem obvious, but it is the number one food to avoid while taking Coumadin is Vitamin K. It reduces the effectiveness of the medication. Let your doctor know if you have been taking this. Your health care professional will advise you accordingly and adjust the dosage of medication.
- Vitamin E supplements. Evidence supports that Vitamin E can cause blood thinning. Intake over 1,000 (IU) per day potentially can cause excessive bleeding.
- Antibiotics. Some antibiotics can effect the levels of Vitamin K in your body and your Coumadin® dosage may need to be adjusted accordingly.
- Herbal Supplements. Arnica, bilberry, butcher’s broom, cat’s claw, dong quai, feverfew, forskolin, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, horse chestnut, insositol hexaphosphate, licorice, melilot (sweet clover), pau d’arco, red clover, St. John’s wort, sweet woodruff, tumeric, willow bark, or wheat grass
- Foods High in Vitamin K, no more than one serving per day (One serving of parsley is ¼ cup, all other foods listed a serving equals ½ cup.) Kale (fresh or boiled), spinach (fresh or boiled), turnip greens (frozen, boiled), collards (fresh or boiled), Swiss chard (fresh or boiled), parsley (raw), mustard greens (fresh or boiled).
- Foods Moderately High in Vitamin K, no more than three servings per day (One serving of Brussels sprouts is ½ cup, all other foods listed a serving equals one cup.) Brussels sprouts (frozen or boiled, spinach (raw), turnip greens (raw, chopped), green leaf lettuce (shredded), broccoli (raw, chopped), endive lettuce (raw), Romaine lettuce (raw).
- Cranberries. Any food containing cranberry juice or cranberries should be avoided.
- Alcohol. More than 3 drinks of alcohol per day can increase the effects of Coumadin®. Many doctors will advise against consuming any alcoholic beverage while taking this medication. One drink is the equivalent of five oz. Wine, twelve oz. Beer or 1.5 oz. liquor
- Vegetable oils. Mayonnaise, certain oils such as Canola, olive and soybean.
- Green tea. It has been included on one reference, but appears to be somewhat debatable. Discuss your normal coffee and tea consumption with your doctor.
The daily intake of foods and supplements high in Vitamin K should be kept at a consistent and moderate level while on this medication. It is not necessary to avoid these foods entirely, but keep your diet consistent. More than a moderate consumption of these foods, vitamins and supplements have been known to have an effect on dosage requirements for the drug Coumadin the main active ingredient is Warfarin Sodium The information contained herein is merely a guideline and is not intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.