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

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Prescription omega-3 fatty acids or high doses of omega-3 supplements may also affect the blood's ability to clot. People who take blood-thinning medications should be aware of this precaution if they also take omega-3s. Talk to your doctor if you take blood thinning medicines, such as warfarin (Coumadin) 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. , Sept. 12, 2012. The Journal of the American Medical Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bays, H. , March 2008. Expert Reviews

National Institutes of Health: "Fish Oil."

News release, Oregon State University.

Miller, M. , May 2011. Circulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bays, H. , March 2008. Expert Reviews

National Institutes of Health: "Fish Oil."

News release, Oregon State University.

Miller, M. , May 2011. Circulation

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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What should you know about omega-3 fatty acids?

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