Warfarin is a prescription medication used to treat blood clots. Coenzyme Q10 is a compound produced by your body that is also available as a health supplement. Coenzyme Q10 supplements are often used to treat a variety of health conditions, particularly those affecting the cardiovascular system. Taking coenzyme Q10 can possibly cause interactions with warfarin. Whenever you are prescribed a medication, you should tell your doctor all the health supplements you are taking, because many supplements can cause potentially dangerous interactions with prescription drugs.
Warfarin slows the process of blood-clotting, and for this reason it is often referred to as a blood-thinning medicine. The brand names of warfarin include Coumadin and Jantoven. Warfarin is used to either prevent the formation of blood clots or to treat blood clots that have already formed by preventing them from growing larger. Treatment with warfarin must be closely monitored, because too much warfarin can increase the risk of severe bleeding or hemorrhaging.
Coenzyme Q10, which is often abbreviated CoQ10, is a naturally occurring chemical that is produced by your body and found in certain foods, especially meat and seafood. Supplements containing coenzyme Q10 are often used to treat several diseases, including high blood pressure and heart disease. People may also take coenzyme Q10 with warfarin to prevent the hair loss that is sometimes a side effect of warfarin treatment, although not enough evidence supports this claim, reports MedlinePlus.
Coenzyme Q10 Together With Warfarin
Coenzyme Q10 tends to increase blood clotting, which is the opposite effect of warfarin. Taking coenzyme Q10 at the same time as warfarin can possibly counteract the effect of warfarin. This interaction can be very dangerous. If you are taking warfarin to treat a blood clot, taking coenzyme Q10 at the same time may cause the blood clot to grow larger, which can result in severe injury or possibly death if the blood clot breaks loose and travels to the heart, brain or lungs. You should take coenzyme Q10 at the same time as warfarin only if your doctor gives you explicit instructions to do so.
Other Drug Interactions
Coenzyme Q10 can also cause interactions with several other types of medications. Coenzyme Q10 tends to lower blood pressure, which can result in dangerously low blood pressure levels in people who are taking other medications to lower blood pressure. Coenzyme Q10 may also interact with chemotherapy agents, such as doxorubicin, either by decreasing some of the side effects of chemotherapy drugs or by reducing their effectiveness.
- MedlinePlus; Coenzyme Q-10; November 2010
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Possible Interactions with: Coenzyme Q10; Ernest B. Hawkins, Steven D. Ehrlich; June 2007
- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University; Coenzyme Q10; Victoria J. Drake; February 2007
- MedlinePlus; Warfarin; September 2008