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Vitamins That Interact With Plavix

author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Vitamins That Interact With Plavix
Green ginko biloba leaves on a tree. Photo Credit: vencavolrab/iStock/Getty Images

Plavix, generic name clopidogrel, a medication used to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke, reduces your blood’s ability to form clots. Clot formation can decrease blood flow to the brain and heart. Plavix belongs to a class of drugs known as blood thinners. Only one vitamin, Vitamin E, actually interacts with Plavix. Another vitamin, Vitamin K, which increases the blood's clotting ability, doesn't interact with Plavix, the Hospital for Special Surgery states. If you take Plavix, don’t take any vitamin supplements without talking to your medical personnel first.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E, like Plavix, thins your blood and reduces its ability to clot. A fat-soluble over-the-counter vitamin once thought beneficial in reducing heart disease, vitamin E has more recently proven to actually increase rather than decrease the risk of heart disease in some cases, particularly in men. In a study of 15,000 healthy physicians over age 50, vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke, caused by increased bleeding from blood vessels rather than blockages in blood vessels, occurs less frequently than ischemic stroke, caused by reduced blood flow. Taking vitamin E along with Plavix or other anti-platelet drugs can increase bleeding, the National Institutes of Health warns. Don’t take vitamin E along with Plavix without discussing it with your doctor first.

Ginkgo Biloba

Although ginkgo biloba is not a vitamin, it’s one of the best-selling over-the-counter herbal preparations in the U.S. and Canada, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports. Often taken as a memory aid, an antidepressant and to lower blood pressure, ginkgo acts as a blood thinner and may worsen bleeding tendencies if taken with Plavix. Do not take ginkgo biloba with Plavix without your doctor’s approval. Ginkgo’s blood-thinning ability is three times stronger than that of vitamin E, warns Weston Plastic Surgery, located in Southwest Florida.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Although fish oils, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, aren’t vitamins, they’re another widely used supplement for lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Omega-3 fatty acids, like Plavix, can act as blood thinners and if taken with Plavix, could potentiate the effect of Plavix, leading to excessive bleeding. Do not take fish oil and Plavix together without your physician’s approval.

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