Expert Opinion: Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Bleeding—Cause for Concern?

  • William S. Harris
    Address for reprints: William S. Harris, PhD, Department of Medicine, Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota, 1400 West 22nd Street, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105.
    Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.
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Published:November 30, 2006DOI:
      Omega-3 fatty acid ethyl esters have well-known triglyceride-lowering properties and were shown >30 years ago to inhibit platelet function. With the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of these agents for treating severe triglyceride elevations, concerns about excess bleeding naturally arise. However, an objective assessment of the evidence for clinically significant bleeding reveals that such concerns are unfounded. As such, the benefits of triglyceride lowering with omega-3 fatty acids more than outweigh any theoretical risks for increased bleeding.
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