How much Alcohol?

Hi everyone, my husband is on warfarin in preparation for an ablation, he's only been on it a few weeks and his last INR was 2.4. He asked his GP about how much alcohol he could have and was told he could drink every night but not to excess, his advice was 4 to 5 pints max. This seems quite a lot to me but last night my hubby had 4 pints and a jack daniels, now I don't mind him drinking but I am really quite worried that this amount could be harmful. As we're new to all of this I'd really appreciate some advice or feedback as obviously I really wouldn't want him to bleed for the sake of alcohol but I don't want to nag him either if that amount is ok

8 Replies

  • You are right to be concerned. I am a little surprised the GP would say 4-5 pints/night is ok as that is a lot of alcohol. Whether it is a beer or a Jack Daniels or a glass of wine it all counts as one drink. Here is some info I took from a University web page for patient information about alcohol use while on warfarin. "Typically drinking alcohol is not recommended while taking coumadin (warfarin), because it has a profound effect on your Protime/INR and is very risky. If, regardless of the risk, you do choose to have alcoholic beverages while taking coumadin, it is imperative to be consistent with this, and avoid more than 1-2 drinks per day, and avoid binge drinking. Alcohol intake causes sudden and unexpected rises in Protime/INR levels and can result in serious and unexpected bleeding problems".

    So, maybe a little nagging is in order here. You are right. You don't want him to bleed for the sake of alcohol. Good luck.

  • Many thanks x

  • HI Lotus, I agree it does seem a lot , how many units does that make up? Personally I am quite happy on a couple of glasses of white wine three or four times a week. I think that it is the regularity of intake which is that INR can be established in correct range. MInd you I think my EP would have refused to do the ablation if I drank that amount on a regular basis as excess alcohol is know to be a contributory factor in AF. I would avoid the subject frankly as my experience is that discussing how much a partner may drink is a great way to start an argument and when he is under stress and worry about the procedure that is another thing that won't help. Try not to worry about it and be assured that they will check INR etc before the procedure so it will be well controlled and if that is too high them they will act accordingly.


  • He doesn't regularly drink this, he'll have a couple maybe 2 or 3 times a week but I too was shocked at the GP saying 4 or 5 max as now he'll do that on a weekend and think he's fine. His GP did also say that if he binge drinks he WILL bleed and this is why I'm worried. Don't worry we won't fall out about his drinking. Thanks everyone for the advice

  • I have cut back on my alcohol consumption since diagnosed 3 and half years ago. I drink each evening, usually 1 or 2 x 330ml bottles of beer, or 1 or 2 x G & T's before the meal. With the meal I have one or two glasses of white or red wine depends on how I feel. This has had no effect on my INR at all, but, I am one of the lucky ones who has no problem with warfarin.


  • keep it low and steady

  • Do think alcohol units (10ml of pure alcohol) A pint of beer has 2 units. A pub poured single Jack Daniels will have 1 unit but an unmeasured serving at home from your own bottle could easily be 2. So 4 pints and a JD is around 10 units.

    The recommended daily limit for men is 4 units - for women it's 3. So, leaving Warfarin and AF out of the equation, your husband's consumption is both heavy and risky. Cheers!

  • I'm with Aussie john...I live an expat lif where being out partying is the norm and it dose not affect my levels....I also eat all the green stuff that I fancy...and that is ok too

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