STATINS & WARFARIN – advisory
If you use either of these medications, please be aware that certain supplements, other drugs, and even some foods may interfere with their effectiveness.
Statins are used to normalise cholesterol levels. There are several different types available under different trade names. The active ingredients most often prescribed are atorvastatin (e.g. Aspavor) simvastatin (e.g. Simvacor) and rosuvastatin (e.g., Crestor). Herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort can decrease the amount of statin in the circulation, and when used with atorvastatin, may INCREASE the blood cholesterol. Red yeast rice contains a statin-like substance, so should not be used together with a prescription statin. Another thing to avoid if you are using a statin is grapefruit juice. This interferes with the normal breakdown of statins and can lead to excess blood levels. Whilst this is less pronounced with rosuvastatin, it is still advised to avoid combining grapefruit juice with statins. Q10 and omega 3 supplements do not adversely affect statins and can safely be used, though high doses of omega 3’s may be associated with easy bruising and must be used with caution if you are taking any blood-thinner, such as aspirin or warfarin.
Warfarin is a Vitamin K antagonist, used for various clinical situations where avoiding blood clots is crucial – e.g. fibrillation (a type of irregular heart rhythm) deep vein thrombosis with or without lung embolus. Substances increasing the effects of Warfarin include high amounts of ginko, garlic, cucurmin, omegas, Q10 and even some green teas. Substances high in Vitamin K have the opposite effect, and can reduce Wafarin’s ability to prevent clots forming. Some of these include some combination calcium supplements, ginseng and St. John’s Wort. Broccoli and spinach are amongst the foods to avoid in large quantities when on Warfarin, because they are high in Vitamin K and thus overcome the effects of Warfarin. For more information on the Vit K content of foods visit https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/low-vitamin-k-foods-for-a-coumadin-warfarin-diet.php
Do not stop taking either Warfarin or your statin without first consulting your doctor for more advice.