Fish Oil

Is Fish Oil Effective?

Fish oil has been studied much more than most dietary supplements and appears to be effective for several uses. Some uses have more scientific evidence than others (see Does Fish Oil Work? for more information).
 

Dosing Information

Because fish oil has been extensively studied, there is information available about its dosing. However, there has been less research done on fish oil uses, so the most effective (and safe) doses have not yet been established.
 
(Click Fish Oil Dosage for more information.)
 

Side Effects

Fish oil can cause several side effects, such as:
 
(Click Fish Oil Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 

Drug Interactions With Fish Oil

It can potentially interact with several medications (see Fish Oil Drug Interactions).
 

Safety

Normal doses of fish oil are probably safe for most people, although high doses can cause problems. Some people may be more likely to experience problems when taking it. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this supplement if you have:
 
  • Diabetes
  • A bleeding disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis, a genetic condition involving colon polyps
  • An implanted heart defibrillator
  • A weakened immune system, often due to cancer, HIV, or AIDS
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods (especially fish), dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Is Fish Oil Harmful? for more information, including any available warnings and precautions.)
 
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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