February 13, 2016

Fish Oil

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How does Fish Oil work?

Fish oils contain certain "fatty acids" that reduce pain and swelling. These fatty acids also prevent the blood from clotting easily. This might make fish oils helpful for some heart conditions.

Are there safety concerns?

Fish oil is safe for most people. It can cause side effects including belching, bad breath, heartburn, nausea, loose stools, rash, and nosebleeds. Taking fish oil supplements with meals or freezing them can often decrease these side effects. Some fish meats are contaminated with mercury and other industrial and environmental chemicals. Fish oil supplements typically do not contain these contaminants.

Taking fish oil supplements can increase levels of the "bad" LDL cholesterol in some people. You will need blood tests periodically to ensure LDL cholesterols do not become too high.

High doses of fish oil might keep blood from clotting and can INCREASE the chance of bleeding.

Do not take fish oil if:
  • You have liver disease.
  • You are allergic to fish or seafood.
  • You have a condition called bipolar disorder.
  • You have an implantable defibrillator (a surgically placed device to prevent irregular heartbeat).

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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