HomeHealthDon't Take Aspirin, Warfarin Together: Here's Why

Don’t Take Aspirin, Warfarin Together: Here’s Why

“Blood thinners do not thin the blood; they reduce the likelihood of blood clots,” explained Dr. Shephal Doshi, a cardiac electrophysiologist and director of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California.

There are two main types of blood thinners:

Warfarin is an anticoagulant and aspirin is an antiplatelet.

“There are many different types of blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), apixaban (Eliquis), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), and dabigatran (Pradaxa),” explained Dr. Jeffrey Tyler, a cardiologist with Providence St. Joseph Hospital in California,

He noted that people take them for a variety of conditions, such as:

“Some of these people benefit from taking aspirin and blood thinners, such as those that have atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and recent stents,” Tyler told Healthline.

There are disadvantages, such as the increase in bleeding.

“Blood thinners are a double edge sword,” Dr. Andrew M Freeman, a cardiologist at National Jewish Health, told Healthline. “The more your blood doesn’t clot, the more bleeding. Some aren’t dangerous – bruising and nosebleeds are considered nuisance bleeding and can be an acceptable side effect.”

“The most common side effect of blood thinners is bleeding,” Berger told Healthline.

Other common side effects include upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea.

“If you are taking warfarin, you should have regular contact with your doctor and may need frequent blood tests to see how your blood clots. Other blood thinners, such as Eloquis, do not require frequent blood tests,” Berger said.

“Blood thinners, depending on the type, can interact with supplements, medications, vitamins, and foods,” said Warrier. “You must inform your physician of all medications and supplements you take. Some supplements you should avoid while taking warfarin include garlic, high amounts of cinnamon, vitamin K, green tea, vitamin E, St John’s wort, and Ginkgo biloba. Some of these increase the effects of warfarin while others decrease the effect.”

In the past, doctors often prescribed aspirin to a person without heart disease as a preventive measure.

“Over the past few years, we have had a multitude of studies showing the increased risk of bleeding on aspirin, and now instead of giving it to everyone, we are more selective in terms of who would benefit from this therapy,” explained Doshi.

Experts say if you take prescribed aspirin and blood thinners, don’t stop without talking to your doctor.

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