Coumadin Vs. Fish Oil
by Sandy Keefe
If you're taking Coumadin, fish oil supplements increase your bleeding risk.
Coumadin, also known as sodium warfarin, is an anticoagulant (blood thinner), and fish oil is a dietary supplement that contains concentrated amounts of alpha tocopheryl, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.
Your doctor may prescribe Coumadin tablets if you are at risk for strokes, heart attacks or deep venous thromboses. According to Mayo Clinic, multiple studies have demonstrated that fish oil supplements also reduce these risks.
Fish oil capsules can increase the pharmacologic effect of Coumadin, increasing your risk of bleeding.
The risk of fish oil-Coumadin interactions is highest when you're using one of the drugs and then either start or stop taking the second drug.
Medscape's Drug Interaction Checker lists the potential interaction between alpha tocopheryl and Coumadin as a severe one, meaning that you should take action to lower your risk of bleeding.
If you intend to take both Coumadin and fish oil supplements, you'll need to work with your doctor to monitor the extent of your blood thinning. He may adjust your Coumadin dose to lower your risk of excessive bleeding.