omega-3 fatty acids (generic name)

a nutraceutical product - treats Atherosclerosis, Primary cardiovascular disease prevention, Peripheral vascular disease / claudication, Nephro...
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Interactions with Drugs

In theory, omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin; anticoagulants ("blood thinners"), such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin; anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel (Plavix®); and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Based on human studies, omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure and add to the effects of drugs that may also affect blood pressure.

Fish oil supplements may lower blood sugar levels a small amount. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels, but can actually increase (worsen) low-density lipoprotein (LDL/"bad cholesterol") levels by a small amount. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids may add to the triglyceride-lowering effects of agents like niacin/nicotinic acid, fibrates such as gemfibrozil (Lopid®), or resins such as cholestyramine (Questran®). However, omega-3 fatty acids may work against the LDL-lowering properties of "statin" drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor®) and lovastatin (Mevacor®).

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

In theory, omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

Based on human studies, omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure and theoretically may add to the effects of agents that may also affect blood pressure.

Fish oil supplements may lower blood sugar levels a small amount. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels, but can actually increase (worsen) low-density lipoprotein (LDL/"bad cholesterol") levels by a small amount. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids may add to the triglyceride-lowering effects of agents like niacin/nicotinic acid, but may work against the potential LDL-lowering properties of agents like barley, garlic, guggul, psyllium, soy, or sweet almond.

Fish oil taken for many months may cause a deficiency of vitamin E, and therefore vitamin E is added to many commercial fish oil products. As a result, regular use of vitamin E-enriched products may lead to elevated levels of this fat-soluble vitamin. Fish liver oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and therefore fish liver oil products (such as cod liver oil) may increase the risk of vitamin A or D toxicity. Since fat-soluble vitamins can build up in the body and cause toxicity, patients taking multiple vitamins regularly or in high doses should discuss this risk with their healthcare practitioners.

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