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Can You Drink Aloe Vera Juice When Taking Coumadin?

by
author image Diana Kaniecki
Diana Kaniecki has been writing health-related articles since 1991. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed health journals including the "American Journal of Cardiology," "Chest" and "Pharmacoeconomics." She also develops health technology products for wellness and chronic illness self-management. Kaniecki received her Doctor of Clinical Pharmacy from St. Johns University.
Can You Drink Aloe Vera Juice When Taking Coumadin?
Aloe is a succulent plant, meaning that its thick leaves contain large amounts of water. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

According to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, aloe juice may not be safe to take by mouth, especially at higher than recommended doses. If you drink aloe juice, you can experience potentially severe side effects, including kidney disease and cancer. Aloe juice may also interact with some medicines that you are taking, possibly causing health problems. Consult with your health care provider before using aloe juice medicinally.

About Aloe Juice

Aloe contains two types of substances in its leaf, including a clear gel and a yellowish liquid called aloe juice or latex. Aloe juice comes from the green part of the aloe leaf located just below the skin and it surrounds the gel. Aloe juice is most commonly taken to treat constipation. It is also used for treating various other ailments, such as epilepsy, diabetes, colitis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, arthritis, glaucoma and bleeding.

About Coumadin

Coumadin the brand name for the prescription generic drug warfarin. It is called a blood thinner because it reduces the ability of your blood to clot. This effect makes Coumadin useful to treat blood clots or to prevent them from forming or growing larger in your veins or lungs. You may be taking Coumadin if you have a condition that predisposes you to developing blood clots, such as irregular heart rhythm, heart attack or heart valve disorders.

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Aloe With Coumadin

When you drink aloe juice, it works like a stimulant laxative by increasing the contractions of your bowel muscles and speeding up your bowel movements. This stimulating effect can cause diarrhea. NIH states that diarrhea can increase the effects of Coumadin, which can increase your risk of bleeding. You should avoid aloe juice if you are taking Coumadin.

Other Considerations

Aloe lowers your blood potassium levels, so if you are taking other medicines that lower potassium, such as diuretics or water pills, your potassium levels may be too low. Low potassium levels can also increase the risk of side effects from digoxin, a medicine used for irregular heartbeats and heart failure. Because aloe juice may lower your blood sugar levels, it may increase the effects of your diabetes medicines and your blood sugar levels may be too low. Signs of increased bleeding from taking aloe juice with Coumadin, include unusual bruising and prolonged bleeding from a cut, or sudden bleeding from different parts of your body including your nose, gums, stomach, vagina, urine or stool.

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