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.
Likely Effective 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.
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.
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.