Wine and Warfarin - Red vs White

Publication Date:
Fri, 04/01/2016        
By: Alere Staff

Taking a medication like warfarin does not mean you can’t partake in festivities with different food and drinks. While certain foods and beverages can interact, taking warfarin doesn’t mean a trip to the local wine bar is out of the question. Just as with everything else, moderation and consistency is important with diet. If you enjoy a glass of wine or two, you may wonder if there is a difference between how white wine and red wine may affect your INR.

White vs. Red

White wine is made by fermenting the non-colored pulp of grapes. No skins or seeds are used. Red wine is made with dark red and black grapes with the skins included to add color and flavor to the wine. Adding the skins to the red wine also gives it an antioxidant component that the white wine does not possess. Both types of wine have health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, improved heart health and reduction of stress to list a few.

Both white and red wine contain ethanol which has a known interaction with warfarin. It is usually okay for the average person to have one to two drinks per day, but it is always a good idea to discuss with your physician regarding your alcohol intake. Episodes of heavy drinking or binge drinking on the weekends can increase a warfarin patient’s risk of bleeding. In contrast, drinking heavily like this on a regular basis can have the opposite effect, increasing a patient’s risk of developing blood clots.

Wine also contains vitamin K, so knowing the amount in the different types of wine can help you when discussing a diet plan with your physician. One serving of white wine or red wine, approximately five fluid ounces, contains about 0.6 micrograms of vitamin K. Other more specific wines like Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon contain such low amounts of vitamin K that they are not even measured.5

No matter what wine you are drinking, it is always important to consult your physician regarding any dietary change including alcohol consumption. Speaking with your physician about dietary habits you enjoyed before your warfarin prescription, like wine tasting, can make your transition easier. You will find that you may not have to be as restrictive as you believe.

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References:

  1. Drugs.com. Warfarin and Alcohol/Food Interactions. 2016. Retrieved from the website:http://www.drugs.com/food-interactions/warfarin.html?professional=1.
  2. WebMD. Wine. 2016. Retrieved from the website: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-989 WINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=989&activeIngredientName=WINE.
  3. Monson, K. PharmD, et al. Coumadin and Alcohol. eMedTv. 2 June 2013. Retrieved from the website: http://heart-disease.emedtv.com/coumadin/coumadin-and-alcohol.html
  4. Fitday. Red Wines vs. White Wines: Which Bottle Should You Pick? 2016. Retrieved from the website: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/red-wines-vs-white-wines-which-bottle-should-you-pick.html.
  5. USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. The National Agricultural Library. Retrieved April 2016 from the website: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods