Strange Brew: Caffeine and Blood Thinners?

Caffeine researcher Dr. Eli Lev

What happens when caffeine and Plavix (a common blood thinning medication used by heart patients) come together? This question was addressed in a research study headed by Dr. Eli Lev, head of Thrombosis research at the Cardiology Institute and senior cardiologist at the Interventional Cardiology Institute at Rabin Medical Center, directed by Professor Ran Kornowski. The research was conducted during his fellowship at Bayer College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

The study tested the effect of administration of large doses of caffeine on platelet inhibition by Plavix, in both healthy volunteers and patients with coronary heart disease. It was discovered that caffeine enhances the anti-platelet activity of Plavix. This potential interaction may have clinical implications for patients who take this medication on a long-term basis, such as after placement of coronary stents, and it warrants further investigation. The study was published in the prestigious medical publication American Heart Journal.

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