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What are the side effects of prescription omega-3 fatty acids?

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Prescription omega-3 fatty acids or high doses of omega-3 supplements can make it hard for your blood to clot. That's important to know if you take blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Omega-3 fatty acids lower high triglyceride levels, but brands that contain DHA may raise levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol. This could be a problem if you also have high cholesterol, which often goes hand-in-hand with high triglycerides.

SOURCES:

Harvard School of Public Health: "Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Omega-3 Supplements: An Introduction."

Rizos, E. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept. 12, 2012.

American Heart Association: "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Macchia, A. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, December 2012.

FDA: "Summary of Qualified Health Claims Subject to Enforcement Discretion."

Collins, N. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2008.

Chan, Eric J. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, April 2009.

Lee, Y.-H. Archives of Medical Research, July 2012.

Bays, H. Expert Reviews, March 2008.

National Institutes of Health: "Fish Oil."

News release, Oregon State University.

Miller, M. Circulation, May 2011.

AstraZeneca.

UpToDate: Omega-3-acid ethyl esters (fish oil).

FDA: Access data: Omtryg.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 29, 2019

SOURCES:

Harvard School of Public Health: "Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Omega-3 Supplements: An Introduction."

Rizos, E. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept. 12, 2012.

American Heart Association: "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Macchia, A. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, December 2012.

FDA: "Summary of Qualified Health Claims Subject to Enforcement Discretion."

Collins, N. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2008.

Chan, Eric J. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, April 2009.

Lee, Y.-H. Archives of Medical Research, July 2012.

Bays, H. Expert Reviews, March 2008.

National Institutes of Health: "Fish Oil."

News release, Oregon State University.

Miller, M. Circulation, May 2011.

AstraZeneca.

UpToDate: Omega-3-acid ethyl esters (fish oil).

FDA: Access data: Omtryg.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 29, 2019

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