From Health Notes:
Many supplements interact with anticoagulants. These reactions may make the medications less effective or may increase the risk of bleeding. This post has links to places where you can get information on drug/natural supplement interactions. Make sure to check for interactions, talk to your pharmacist, and talk with your doctor before adding or removing supplements from your treatment plan. This will help you prepare for possible problems.
From Health Notes:
Today, we will learn about some of the risks of natural medications and supplements. Before we get to that topic, I want to review the answers to the questions that I posted in the last entry. Let's review the different mystery substances:
Substance #1 is warfarin (coumadin).
This substance was discovered when a farmer noticed his cows were bleeding more than a healthy cow should bleed. He did some research and found out that the cows had consumed a large amount of a certain plant while munching the grass in their pasture. This natural substance is very effective at preventing clots and is still used for this purpose to this day.
Substance #2 is water.
This substance is fine when taken in certain amounts. It is very effective in preventing clots and often recommended by doctors. If the patient takes too much of this substance he or she will suffer muscle contractions, headache, seizures, nausea, and unresponsiveness. If this overdose is not addressed, it will lead to coma and death.
Substance #3 is aspirin.
This substance is starting to show promise as a means to prevent pulmonary embolism. Although the research is conflicting, some doctors are recommending that patients use this substance. This substance increases the risk of fatal bleeding. Other side effects of this substance include vomiting, stomach pain, hives, rash, facial swelling, difficulty breathing, fast heart rate, fast breathing, clammy skin, loss of hearing, and death.
As you can see, anything that you put into your body can have side effects. It doesn't matter if the substance is over the counter or if it is a prescription. As a patient it is important to read the labels and talk to medical professionals. For natural substances you will need to dig a little deeper to find information. It is much more difficult to find the side effects profile of natural supplements. When the information does show up, it is even more difficult to know if you can trust the source.
Some Supplements Are Dangerous
Although many sources will tell you that supplements have no side effects because they are not medicine, this is not the case. Supplements are medicine and they do have side effects. In the last two weeks articles have come out about the dangers of some very common supplements. I wanted to share this information because the dangerous supplements are often used by blood clot patients.
Fish Oil May Cause Bleeding And May Increase The Risk Of Aggressive Prostate Cancer
While we often hear that omega fatty acids are healthy, research is beginning to show that they may only be healthy when they are consumed as fish rather than fish oil. The UK Daily Mail reported on July 10, 2013, that omega-3 fatty acid fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70%. Aggressive prostate cancer is fairly rare, however, if you are male, you may wish to reconsider using fish oil as a post clot preventative. Another problem with fish oil is that it does not mix well with anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners). If you are on anticoagulation therapy, fish oil raises the risk of suffering a major bleed.
Supplements That Increase The Risk Of Bleeding
Supplements can change how the liver creates and processes blood clotting enzymes, change ow much vitamin K is in the body, reduce platelet counts, or decrease thrombin effectiveness. All of these effects can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you are on anticoagulation therapy. In 2010 a study of 100 common herbal remedies was conducted. It found that 69 out of 100 of the remedies affected how warfarin worked in the body. If you are on anticoagulation please talk with your pharmacist and physician about mixing herbs and supplements with warfarin. Here are some of the most common natural supplements that significiantly raise the risk of bleeding and of requiring a blood transfusion:
Macrae, F. (2013, July 10). Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70%. Mail Online. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2359466/Taking-omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-increase-risk-aggressive-prostate-cancer-70.html
Story, C. (2013, July 10). Could the Herbs You’re Taking Cause Life-Threatening Bleeding? Renegade Health. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2013/07/10/could-the-herbs-youre-taking-cause-life-threatening-bleeding
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2012, July 23). Fish oil: MedlinePlus Supplements. MedlinePlus. Retrieved June 3, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html