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    Other Names:

    32-C, Dotriacontanol, Heptacosanol, Hexacosanol, Nonacosanol, Octacosanol, Tetracosanol, Tétracosanol, Tetratriacontanol, Tétratriacontanol, Triacontanol.

    POLICOSANOL Overview
    POLICOSANOL Side Effects
    POLICOSANOL Interactions
    POLICOSANOL Overview Information

    Policosanol is a chemical most often obtained from sugar cane. It can also be made from other plants, such as wheat.

    Policosanol is most commonly used for leg pain due to poor blood circulation (intermittent claudication). It is also used for high cholesterol and clogged arteries, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

    How does it work?

    Policosanol seems to decrease cholesterol production in the liver and to increase the breakdown of LDL (low-density lipoprotein or "bad") cholesterol. It also decreases the stickiness of particles in the blood known as platelets.

    POLICOSANOL Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Likely Effective for:

    • Leg pain due to poor blood circulation (intermittent claudication). Taking policosanol by mouth seems to improve the distance people with intermittent claudication can walk without pain.

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Clogged arteries (coronary heart disease). Early research shows that taking policosanol, alone or with aspirin for 20 months, can reduce heart disease-related events in people with clogged arteries.
    • Inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Early research shows that taking policosanol does not reduce total cholesterol or "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) in people with inherited high cholesterol.
    • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Research findings disagree about the effectiveness of policosanol for treating high cholesterol. There have been some studies that find it effective. However, most of these studies were done in Cuba, where the sugar cane that is used to make policosanol is grown. Most research done outside Cuba (in Germany, Canada, and South Africa) found that policosanol does not lower cholesterol.
    • Other conditions.
    More evidence is needed to rate policosanol for these uses.

    POLICOSANOL Side Effects & Safety

    Policosanol is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in doses of 5-80 mg daily for up to 3 years. Side effects of policosanol are generally mild and can include headaches, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, upset stomach, skin redness, or weight loss. But these side effects are relatively uncommon.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking policosanol if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Bleeding disorders: Policosanol can slow blood clotting and might increase the chance of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

    Surgery: Policosanol can slow blood clotting. There is a concern that it might increase the chance of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using policosanol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

    POLICOSANOL Interactions What is this?

    Major Interaction Do not take this combination

    • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with POLICOSANOL

      Policosanol might slow blood clotting. Taking policosanol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

      Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


    The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



    • For leg pain due to poor blood circulation (intermittent claudication): 10 mg of policosanol has been taken once or twice daily for up to 2 years.

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    Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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