Flaxseed supplements may alter the effects of some prescription and non-prescription medications. If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use flaxseed without first talking to your health care provider:
Blood Thinning Medications -- Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the effects of blood thinning medications, including aspirin and warfarin. While the combination of aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids may actually be helpful under certain circumstances (such as heart disease), they should only be taken together under the guidance and supervision of a qualified health care provider.
Diabetic Medications -- If you are taking medicines for diabetes, including insulin, you should only use flaxseed (ALA) under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
Oral Contraceptives or Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) -- Flaxseed may alter hormonal levels and alter the effects of oral contraceptives or HRT. Only use flaxseed under the supervision of a qualified health care provider if you are taking hormonal altering medications such as oral contraceptives or HRT.
Other -- Flaxseed may slow down the absorption of oral medications or other nutrients if taken at the same time. Try to avoid taking flaxseed at the same time of day as medications and other supplements. Take the flaxseed either 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking any prescription or non-prescription medicine or dietary supplement.
Ernest B. Hawkins, MS, BSPharm, RPh, Health Education Resources; and Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D., private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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