Is Policosanol Safe?

Before taking any herbal supplement (including policosanol), safety concerns should be reviewed with your healthcare provider. For example, policosanol can "thin" the blood, which can be a problem if you have a bleeding disorder or take other medications that also thin the blood. Policosanol warnings and precautions also extend to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as to people with certain allergies.

Is Policosanol Safe? -- An Overview

Policosanol is an herbal supplement that is claimed to be beneficial for a number of uses, such as treating high cholesterol. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking policosanol if you have:
 
  • A bleeding disorder
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Policosanol Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of policosanol include the following:
 
  • Policosanol can "thin" the blood by preventing blood platelets from sticking together. This can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you already have a bleeding disorder or if you take other medications that can also thin the blood.
     
  • Policosanol is a dietary supplement and is, therefore, not as closely regulated as prescription or non-prescription drugs. Also, it can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because it is sold in the United States that it is safe or effective. Also, look for a policosanol product that is made by a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
     
  • Policosanol may interact with some medications (see Policosanol Drug Interactions).
     
  • It is not known if policosanol is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Policosanol and Pregnancy and Policosanol and Breastfeeding).
     
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