Holiday Event Tips for the Warfarin Patient

By: Alere Staff
Publication Date: Wed, 01/01/2014


The holidays are approaching and no one wants to miss out on the fun or great memories. You can safely manage your warfarin and INR while participating in all of the excitement of the season. Here are a few tips to keep you safe during the various holiday events.

Diet Considerations

Of course holiday dinners and parties are prevalent this time of year. It is important to keep your vitamin K intake consistent from day to day. Other considerations include calories and maintaining healthy portion sizes. For more information on keeping a healthy diet during the holiday season, check out our article Your Holiday Diet.

Over-the-counter Medication Considerations

Eating foods during the holiday season is often much more rich and heavy, which can sometimes lead to indigestion or heart burn. Remember, if you need to take an over-the-counter medication, many may contain ingredients that may affect your INR.1 As at any time of the year, whenever you start a new prescription or over the counter medication (including vitamins and supplements), make sure you mention this to your doctor.

Safety Considerations

There are other household safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season:

  • Avoid cutting yourself when wrapping gifts.
  • Be cautious when using sharp knifes in meal preparation. See our article on kitchen safety products to help keep you safe in the kitchen.
  • If you will be entertaining families with small children, make sure you have child proofed all of your medications.

Holiday Stress

The holidays can often bring on added emotional or physical stress. People taking warfarin, who are otherwise within therapeutic range, sometimes can experience instability of their INR test results. Stress and any resulting dietary deficiencies may be a possible reason for unexplained INR results, especially if your dose has remained constant, and other medication use has been consistently taken. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing a high level of stress this holiday season.

Keep these tips in mind while enjoying the wonderful holiday season with your family and friends.

  1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Medication Guide for Coumadin Tablets and Coumadin for Injection (Package Insert). Princeton, NJ. 2009.