Does Alcohol Thin Blood

How Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood? Does alcohol thin blood? Alcohol can reduce some of the “stickiness” of red blood cells, which can lower the odds of blood clotting. Blood clots in thickened arteries or veins are often what contributes to heart attacks and strokes. By reducing the likelihood that these blood cells will stick together and […]

How Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood?

Does alcohol thin blood? Alcohol can reduce some of the “stickiness” of red blood cells, which can lower the odds of blood clotting. Blood clots in thickened arteries or veins are often what contributes to heart attacks and strokes. By reducing the likelihood that these blood cells will stick together and form a clot, alcohol may then “thin” the blood and help to prevent cardiac complications. Acting as a blood thinner, alcohol can then also lower the risk for a stroke, which is when there is a reduced flow of blood to the brain due to blocked or narrowed arteries. [1]

Alcohol can also have negative physical, behavioral, social, and emotional consequences. Similarly, someone who has a family history of alcoholism or other biological or environmental risk factors should not drink alcohol either, even in moderation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the health benefits you feel when you’re drinking could be related to genetics and not to alcohol consumption at all. Just like the Dietary Guidelines, AHA and the CDC do not recommend alcohol consumption for individuals who do not already drink. They also encourage people who drink to do so in moderation in order to minimize some of the potential negative side effects of long-term alcohol use or alcohol addiction. [2]

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol And Blood Thinners

You should limit alcohol consumption while taking anticoagulant blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), as alcohol can potentially increase the risk of bleeding with this prescribed drug. Does alcohol thin blood? Yes, and it may also be more difficult for your healthcare providers to determine the correct dosage for the prescribed blood thinner if you also drink alcohol. Consider the other prescriptions that you take. Sometimes they interact with blood thinners and alcohol. Follow the precautions and refrain from drinking if that is recommended. [5]

Some people should completely avoid drinking alcohol while on blood thinners. These individuals include those who are:

  • Younger than the legal drinking age
  • Pregnant
  • Recovering from alcohol use disorder
  • Unable to control how much they drink

People who drink alcohol more than the recommended amount may increase their risk of:

People taking blood thinners with reduced liver function may accumulate more medication in their bloodstream. Increasing the level of blood thinners in the body can lead to an increased risk of bleeding.

Does Alcohol Thin Blood
Does alcohol thin blood? Why does this occur and what impact does it have upon general health? 

How Much Alcohol Does It Take To Thin Your Blood?

A man’s blood typically thins if he drinks two or more drinks a day. For women, it is one or more drinks a day. Alcohol use, especially when it’s excessive, can also introduce greater risks to your health.

Does alcohol thin blood? Some unhealthy habits like smoking can thicken the blood, while drinking can thin the blood by interfering with the production and function of blood platelets (the cells that create blood clots to protect your vascular system).

This interference can lower platelet numbers and have serious consequences, like increasing the risk of bleeding and stroke. Beyond your blood platelets, abusing alcohol can significantly harm your health, including liver damage, high blood pressure, nerve damage, and depression.

How Long Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood?

In people who enjoy moderate drinking, the blood-thinning effects of alcohol are short-lived. However, in people who drink heavily, the bleeding risk increases, even if they have stopped drinking.

Is Alcohol A Blood Thinner?

Does alcohol thin blood? and what are the effects? Drinking alcohol has effects on blood coagulation. If you drink a moderate amount of alcohol, it may have the benefit of acting as a blood thinner and be protective against clotting in clogged arteries, in some ways similar to aspirin. At the same time, alcohol may increase the risk of bleeding-type strokes. It also will interact with prescription anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin).

Does Alcohol Thin Blood
Does alcohol thin blood? Yes. But, you should not consider alcohol to be a safe or reliable substitute for physician-prescribed blood-thinning drugs.

If you need anticoagulation to reduce health risks, it is unwise to think that drinking alcohol is a substitute for prescribed blood thinners. When your doctor prescribes an anticoagulant such as Coumadin, you will also have your blood tested regularly to ensure you are getting just the right amount of blood thinning. Too little and you aren’t protected; too much and you risk bleeding. [3]

Blood thinners are medicines that prevent blood clots from forming. They do not break up clots that you already have. But they can stop those clots from getting bigger. It’s important to treat blood clots because clots in your blood vessels and heart can cause heart attacks, strokes, and blockages.

When you take a blood thinner, follow the directions carefully. Blood thinners may interact with certain foods, medicines, vitamins, and alcohol. Make sure that your health care provider knows all of the medicines and supplements you are using. You may need regular blood tests to check how well your blood is clotting. It is important to make sure that you’re taking enough medicine to prevent clots, but not so much that it causes bleeding.

Does Alcohol Raise Blood Pressure?

Alcohol is consumed by over 2 billion people worldwide. It is a common substance of abuse and its use can lead to more than 200 disorders including hypertension. Alcohol has both acute and chronic effects on blood pressure.  [4] Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension), your doctor may advise you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.

Limiting alcohol consumption can also help to prevent high blood pressure. If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.

If cutting back on alcohol is hard for you to do on your own, ask your healthcare provider about getting help.

Alcohol Recovery Treatment

Although moderate drinking may have some health benefits, there is risk involved, too. If you don’t drink, the risks of developing other problems associated with alcohol may be too great to begin drinking for its limited health benefits.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. Fortunately, no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with AUD can benefit from some form of alcohol treatment.

Alcohol-related problems—which result from drinking too much, too fast, or too often—are among the most significant public health issues in the United States. Many people struggle with controlling their drinking at some time in their lives.

More than 14 million adults ages 18 and older have alcohol use disorder (AUD), and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem. [6] Considered a brain disorder, AUD can be mild, moderate, or severe.

The good news is that research shows that about one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems. [7]

If you are an alcoholic, your very first step in recovery should be to medical alcohol detox in a safe and medically supervised setting. We Level Up TX drug addiction or alcohol treatment center medically assists clients to clear their systems of addictive substances, such as alcohol. For anyone who suffers from addiction, just the thought of having to stop drinking alcohol can cause severe mental distress. But, with the help of a medical detox center, the medical detox process is managed.

Does Alcohol Thin Blood
Does alcohol thin blood? Yes, alcohol can act as a blood thinner to an extent, which is why it can have a negative effect when too much is consumed with a blood thinner.

A comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your alcohol withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours. Assuring both your safety and comfort. We Level Up TX’s thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care to ensure the best possible outcome for every client who enters our doors. From an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.

Call us and speak with an addiction counselor today about our levels of care and if you have questions such as “does alcohol thin blood?”. If you or someone you love is seeking a safe, secure, and compassionate resource for alcohol treatment, We Level Up TX is here for you.


[1-2] Is Alcohol a Blood Thinner? –
[3] Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood? –
[4] Effect of alcohol on blood pressureNational Center for Biotechnology InformationU.S. National Library of Medicine
[5] Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood? –
[6] Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
[7] Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism