Skip to content

Keep These Tips in Mind If You Take Any Blood Thinner

  1. Be more careful when exercising or being active. “Even a trivial cut is going to bleed a lot on these medications,” Cooke says.
  2. Wear gloves when using sharp tools like scissors, knives, and gardening tools.
  3. Switch to an electric razor.
  4. Wear shoes as often as possible -- always when mowing the lawn or gardening.
  5. Use a soft toothbrush and waxed dental floss to clean your teeth.
  6. If your doctor says you can do things like biking or skiing, wear a helmet. Helmet or no helmet though, “Tackle football is out,” says Natalie Evans, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic.
  7. Wear a medical alert bracelet in case you are in an accident and are not able to talk.
  8. Keep a note in your wallet or purse that lists the medications you take.
  9. If you fall or receive a hard blow, call your doctor or visit the hospital right away, even if there’s no blood. A bruise anywhere on your body means you are bleeding beneath the skin. And a head injury can cause bleeding beneath the skull.
  10. Make sure any doctor who prescribes medication to you knows you are taking a blood thinner. Ask them to look up the drug interactions. For Coumadin especially, the list is long and may be hard to remember without looking.
  11. Don’t take over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or supplements without first checking with your doctor. Your blood thinner may interact with these as well. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can make you bleed more. Even common drugs like Pepto-Bismol can cause bleeding.
  12. Ask your doctor if it’s safe to drink alcohol. An occasional drink should be fine, but it’s best to double check.
  13. Ask your doctor what you should do if you accidentally skip a dose of your blood thinner.
  14. Do not double up on doses.
  15. If you can't eat for several days or have vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than a day, call your doctor. You may not be getting the right dose of medicine.


Keep These Tips in Mind If You Take Coumadin

  1. Since the effects of Coumadin can be reversed with vitamin K, keep a list of foods high in this vitamin on your refrigerator. The most important thing is to eat the same amount of these foods each week, but not too much. That can be hard to keep track of, so many doctors will tell you to avoid them. They include:
    1. Asparagus
    2. Broccoli
    3. Brussels sprouts
    4. Cabbage
    5. Endive
    6. Green onions
    7. Kale
    8. Lettuce
    9. Parsley
    10. Soybean oil
    11. Soybeans
    12. Spinach
    13. Turnip, collard, and mustard greens
  2. Avoid large quantities of cranberry juice or products containing cranberries because they can interact with Coumadin and increase bleeding.


Living With

See the causes, dangers, and treatments of DVT in this slideshow.