Sticky Blood-Hughes Syndrome Support

What medicines are safe with Warfarin?

Hi all,

I've read dozens of websites and am now on my second book about Warfarin therapy and so am fully aware of what you shouldn't eat or drink when on Warfarin.

Has anyone got any suggestions as to what is safe such as what do you take when you have a common cold or cough, or what alternative therapies (heat pad etc?) for when you sprain a muscle instead of taking Ibruprofen?



4 Replies

Hi Stuart,

I was told i was not allowed to take most of the over the counter flue and cold remideies i was told i could take buttercup syrup and basic meds like that i also found that i was not to take neurofen or other painkillers as they thin the blood etc.

BUT!!! saying that i am naughty in the fact i do tak covonia and hills borsin and i if i really need it take a nurofen once in a while not all the time but i again thinkif i take them in moderation it wi8ll not hurt but that is just me it may not be the same for you and to cover myself would say ask the chemist when you go to get the mixtures.and also ask the blood clinic when you go.




From what I understand the issue with most medicines is what they do with the INR at the time we start them.

When I was started on warfarin I was already on an antidepressant and propranolol so that carried on. I was also taking loads of ibuprofen. My GP said I should have lansoprazole to protect my stomach as I took ibuprofen. I still do but in a lot smaller quantities. I no longer take lansoprazole. I know I am lucky as I have taken ibprofen for 22 years with no ill effect and I have been on warfarin for 7 years.

I have had antibiotics which put the INR up. Paracetamol has no effect. I have introduced different vitamins etc.

What you need to do is monitor the INR very closely at the beginning and adjust warfarin accordingly until it settles.

I avoid cranberry as advised. I actually find the worst culprit for upsetting INR is broccoli which is very annoying.



As Paddy noted, I've also been told not to take most over-the-counter cold medicines. I am allowed to take Sudafed regular (the red one), so that's what I take when I get a cold. I'm also allowed to take Tylenol (thought I usually don't take it because it doesn't seem to do much good).

I cannot take anti-inflammatories (like Aleve) so for inflammation I just use ice on the affected area.

I have an agreement with my doctor that I don't take anything he doesn't know about it.

Antibiotics are a strict "no" except under doctor's direct supervision. Most of them will cause your INR to rise so your doc will have to monitor your INR closely and adjust your Coumadin dose if necessary.

And, never take fish-oil capsules. They can shoot your INR through the roof.


I have an annoying cold with cough. I spoke to a pharmacist this morning who said it was safe to take 'Day Nurse' and also 'Robitussin' cough medicine.

Both are paracetomol based but obviously have loads of other stuff in them which the pharmacist felt was safe.

Does anyone else have any recommendations for 'safe' cold/cough remedies?


You may also like...