Taking fish oil supplements may prove beneficial for many people. It effectively lowers high triglyceride levels and seems to help people maintain good heart health. It also may treat a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, attention-deficit disorder, dyspraxia, IgA nephropathy, bipolar disorder, Raynaud’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, psoriasis and developmental coordination disorders. However, women who take birth control pills may not see the full effect of at least one of these benefits.
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Fish Oil and Birth Control Medications
Although more research needs to be done, birth control pills may interfere with fish oil’s effectiveness in lowering triglyceride levels. For women who are interested in taking fish oil supplements for other purposes, this may not be a cause for concern. No other known drug interactions exist between fish oil supplements and birth control medications. However, this does not necessarily mean that no other interactions exist. Always ask your doctor before taking a fish oil supplement while on birth control medications.
Talk to your doctor about alternative options if you were interested in using fish oil supplements to lower your triglyceride levels but are currently taking birth control medication. Your doctor may suggest a different type of birth control that does not interact with fish oil or may suggest another supplement or medication to lower your triglyceride levels. Do not attempt to treat your condition yourself. Always ask your doctor what would be most appropriate for your situation.
Fish Oil Interactions
Fish oil supplements may negatively interact with other supplements or medications. Some medications known to interact negatively with fish oil include anisindione, warfarin and dicumarol. Using fish oil supplements with medications used to treat high blood pressure can increase the effects of these drugs. This includes the medications losartan, valsartan, enalapril, captopril, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, diltiazem and amlodipine. Orlistat, sold over-the-counter in drugstores under the brand name Alli, may interfere with fish oil's absorption by the body. In addition, taking a high dosage of fish oil with medications or herbal supplements that slow clotting may cause bleeding. This includes the medications aspirin, dipyridamole, dalteparin, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, enoxaparin, heparin and ticlopidine, as well as the herbal supplements willow, turmeric, red clover, Panax ginseng, ginkgo, ginger, garlic, danshen, clover and angelica. Fish oil can also reduce vitamin E levels in the body.
Birth Control Interactions
Some medications known to negatively interact with birth control medications include tetracyclines, troglitazone, griseofulvin, penicillin, phenytoin, primidone, rifapin, ritonavir, carbamazepine, barbiturates and ampicillin. Always check with a doctor before using any of these medications while taking a birth control medication. You may need to use a back-up birth control method if your doctor instructs you to take any of these medications, because some of these medications decrease the effectiveness of the birth control.