Nosebleeds remain one of the common side effects of taking fish oil supplements, especially in high doses. The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil affect platelets in your blood and clotting time 3. Many people take fish oil to reduce triglycerides, cholesterol and decrease their risk of stroke and heart attack. If you suffer from severe, persistent nosebleeds and other negative side effects of fish oil, consult with your medical professional 3.
Fish oil supplements cause blood to thin, resulting in increased nosebleeds. The platelets found in your blood decrease in clotting activity, when you consume fish oil. Being a natural blood thinner may be positive, but fish oil also increases bleeding time. If you suffer from a nosebleed, your blood may have difficulty clotting and it may take longer for the bleeding to stop.
- Fish oil supplements cause blood to thin, resulting in increased nosebleeds.
- Being a natural blood thinner may be positive, but fish oil also increases bleeding time.
Can Fish Oil Cause Unexplained Bruising?
Certain medications may affect your bleeding time when taken in combination with fish oil. If you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, such as:
- be careful when mixing these drugs with fish oil
Don’t forget about herbal supplements that also cause blood thinning. Ginkgo, garlic, willow, oregano and garlic in large doses are considered blood thinners. Discuss mixing these medications and supplements with your medical adviser.
- Certain medications may affect your bleeding time when taken in combination with fish oil.
- If you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, such as: * heparin
* be careful when mixing these drugs with fish oil Don’t forget about herbal supplements that also cause blood thinning.
Nosebleeds are a common occurrence and rarely call for emergency intervention. Pinch your nose shut with your fingers to stop the flow of blood. Sit down and slightly lean forward to decrease blood flow and ensure you are not swallowing blood. Continue to pinch your nose closed for five to 10 minutes. If bleeding occurs again, blow your nose to remove all blood clots and administer a decongestant nasal spray. Seek medical intervention if you suffer from frequent nosebleeds or are unable to stop the blood flow.
- Nosebleeds are a common occurrence and rarely call for emergency intervention.
- If bleeding occurs again, blow your nose to remove all blood clots and administer a decongestant nasal spray.
Additional Side Effects
Plavix & Fish Oil
Besides nosebleeds, taking fish oil may result in additional side effects related to bleeding. You may notice large bruises on your skin, indicating that bleeding is occurring internally. Your gums may bleed, especially after brushing. In unusual circumstances, a person can suffer from a rare form of hemorrhagic stroke. Blood vessels burst and rupture, causing bleeding in the brain. The condition is serious and requires immediate emergency care. Signs and symptoms include confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, difficulty following directions and loss of consciousness.
- Besides nosebleeds, taking fish oil may result in additional side effects related to bleeding.
- The condition is serious and requires immediate emergency care.
Can Fish Oil Cause Unexplained Bruising?
Plavix & Fish Oil
Nosebleeds & Weight Loss
Blood Clots & Flat Red Spots on Legs
The Toxicity of Linseed Oil
How to Get Rid of a Scabby Nose
Who Cannot Take Omega-3 Fish Oil Capsules?
Does Echinacea Thin Your Blood?
Dangers & Harmful Side Effects of Flaxseed Oil
What Causes a Low Blood Count?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Nosebleed
- Medline Plus: Stroke
- Minnesota Sea Grant: Fish Oil and Your Health
- Dinicolantonio J, Okeefe J. Dietary fats, blood pressure and artery health. Open Heart. 2019;6(1):e001035. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2019-001035
- Zehr K, Walker M. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids improve endothelial function in humans at risk for atherosclerosis: A review. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2018;134:131-140. doi:10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2017.07.005
- Miller P, Van elswyk M, Alexander D. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Hypertens. 2014;27(7):885-96. doi:10.1093/ajh/hpu024
- National Institutes of Health. Omega-3 fatty acids fact sheet for health professionals. Updated October 2019.
- National Center For Complementary And Integrative Health. Omega 3 supplements: in depth. Updated May 2018.
- Gutiérrez S, Svahn S, Johansson M. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on immune cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(20). doi:10.3390/ijms20205028
- Most Used Natural Products. Use of Complementary Health Approaches in the U.S.: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Updated September 24, 2017.
- Burhania M, Rasenick M. Fish oil and depression: The skinny on fat. Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2017; 16(Suppl 1): S115–S124. doi:10.3233/JIN-170072
- Lee YH, Bae SC, Song GG. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: A meta-analysis. Archives of Medical Research. 2012;43(5):356-62. doi:10.1016/j.arcmed.2012.06.011
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Omega-3 supplements: In-depth. NCCAM Publication No. D482. May 2018.
- National Institutes of Health. Omega-3 fatty acids. Office of Dietary Supplements. 2018.
- The Arthritis Foundation. Fish oil.
Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.