In addition to the side effects listed above, warfarin also interacts negatively with some food products, supplements, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Persons taking warfarin should consult their physician before taking or consuming the following:
• Food products: cranberries and cranberry juice (increases risk of bleeding, also avoid use of cranberry supplements), garlic or black licorice, any food high in vitamin K such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, turnip greens, watercress, Brussels sprouts, soybeans, mayonnaise, or canola oils. Excessive use of alcohol may also lead to excessive bleeding.
• OTC medications: aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, birth control pills, heparin, some antibiotics, and allergy and cold medications.
Because of the increased risk of bleeding, persons taking warfarin should inform their medical care provider before undergoing any dental work, minor surgical procedures, or even routine vaccinations. It’s also a good idea to wear a medical alert bracelet so that medical professionals who may be treating you in an emergency are aware of the possibility of excessive bleeding and can respond accordingly.
For more information about warfarin usage, check out the warfarin page at The Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/warfarin-side-effects/HB00101) or Clot Care Online Resource (http://www.clotcare.com/aboutwarfarin.aspx)
Atrial Fibrillation, The Mayo Clinic, 14 Feb 2009, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/atrial-fibrillation/DS00291
Warfarin side effects: Watch for dangerous interactions, The Mayo Clinic, 01 15 2009, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/warfarin-side-effects/HB00101