Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

General: Consumption of flaxseed (not flaxseed oil) may decrease the absorption of other drugs, vitamins, or minerals. Oral agents should be taken one hour before or two hours after flaxseed to prevent decreased absorption.

Flaxseed may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Flaxseed may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Because flaxseed contains estrogen like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered.

Flaxseed may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.

Flaxseed may also interact with agents for cancer or obesity; anti-inflammatories; cholesterol lowering agents; estrogens; laxatives; or loop diuretics.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

General: Consumption of flaxseed (not flaxseed oil) may decrease the absorption of other drugs, vitamins, or minerals. Oral agents should be taken one hour before or two hours after flaxseed to prevent decreased absorption.

Flaxseed may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

Flaxseed may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

Because flaxseed contains estrogen like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered.

Flaxseed may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.

Flaxseed may also interact with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, cholesterol lowering herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements for cancer or obesity, herbs and supplements that increase urination, laxatives, phytoestrogens, psyllium, soy, or vitamin E.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com