Supplements & Blood Thinners

Many people take some type of over the counter product on a daily basis and consider this a safe and natural way to treat or prevent disease.  In many cases this can be true, but “natural” supplements and vitamins can cause side effects and worsen conditions in some cases.

Fish oil can be used to help lower triglycerides and reduce heart disease risk. However, this common supplement can also thin blood slightly and in some people actually raises their LDL, or bad cholesterol, too high.  Vitamin E, which many people take for its antioxidant properties, is similar to fish oil in that it too can effect platelet function and thin blood.  On their own this is usually not a problem, but when taken in combination with Aspirin, an antiplatelet medication like Clopidogrel (brand name: Plavix), or a blood thinner like Warfarin (brand name: Coumadin) this can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.  Sometimes this can even lead to severe bleeding issues.

Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before adding any herbal supplement or vitamin to your daily medication routine.

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