Low Platelet Count and Alcohol - ITP Support Assoc...

ITP Support Association

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Low Platelet Count and Alcohol


Hi I was wondering if anyone had opinions or experience on having a couple of alcoholic drinks with a low platelet count. My daughter is currently sitting with a count of 6 and its coming up to the festive season and she would like to go out with friends, she is only 22 and has steered clear of alcohol since being diagnosed in April (except for a couple in October when she then landed in hospital with an intercranial bleed although doctors told us there was no link, thankfully she is okay)Can anyone let me know if she will be safe to have only one or two to celebrate Christmas and New Year. We are very skeptical as her platelet count hasn't been in double figures for sometime and she seems to be refractory to most treatments and she is living a very safe life at the moment letting ITP control her life, as she is young, I as a mother want her to enjoy life but also I want her to be safe. I would be grateful for views on this.

10 Replies

Sadly Lindylou there is no definitive answer as we are all different and respond differently so the only advice is to talk it through with her doctor/specialist and see what they say then make your call based on that. It is basically impossible to advise one way or the other, only your daughters doctor/specialist can comment based on the knowldege they have of your daughters case, past medical history and other factors.


When I was diagnosed my haematologist of the time told me not to drink so much as to fall over and bang my head but alcohol itself does no harm. Whether your daughter takes my haematologist's advice though is her call.

I've also experimented many times and found it does nothing to either my count or bleeding propensity.

Thanks for that reply Camdengirl. Will check with our haematologist and my daughters Clinical nurse Specialist.

Hi lindylou - I did not drink alcohol for over a year. Not because it affected my platelet count but because I was going into and out of A&E very regularly and did not want to be in a position where I was over the limit for driving and could not get to hospital under my own steam if needed. My husband abstained for the same reasons. Now my count is not so erratic I am having the occassional drink and it is making no difference to my count. We are all so different and can only do things within our own comfort zones and that is up to your daughter to decide.

Hi Linda Lou I have a couple of wines and it makes no difference as long as you don't go mad sure you will be ok

I was told that a couple here and there would be fine by my hemo. I have a glass of wine with dinner with my husband. I do believe that its up to you and what you feel comfortable with and how you and your doctors feel and discuss your ITP treatment and lifestyle. You know, with in moderation and individualized.

She can enjoy life without alcohol. A lot of people do not drink to enjoy the holiday season. With a platelet count in the single digits, there is NO WAY I would tempt the hands of fate by drinking alcohol. It may or may not affect her platelets but why not stay on the safe side?

My hematologist says it's o'kay to have a drink a day if I wish. I do not have one every day but with his permission I feel I can enjoy a drink if I want one. The problem with a lot of people is that they aren't able to stop at one. I've had ITP for 8 years and have never noticed a drop in platelet count after drinking. I think it is important to try to relax and enjoy as much of this life as you can. Stress and constantly being uptight with worrying can do more harm than enjoying a drink now and then. It will probably help!

I would avoid the alcohol for now. I miss mine as well, 1 drink for me seems to reduce plates by about 10K. This is normal for most, but for us who are low it is not worth the risk. I am at 71 currently, but months ago went from 45 to 35 in 4 days because of 1 drink. I would wait for her to be at least to 90+ . I always remind by hematologist how much I miss my occasional drink and she smiles and says, not now, wait until you are at least 100 and then are stable there.

Drinking alcohol makes no difference whatsoever to my count. I abstained for six months - no change in count.

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