DENVER, May 13, 2010 – Common herbal and nonherbal supplements, such as garlic, ginkgo and essential fatty acids, contribute to an increased risk of health complications in patients treated with warfarin. According to a new study released today at Heart Rhythm 2010, the Heart Rhythm Society’s 31st Annual Scientific Sessions, eight out of the top ten supplements commonly taken by American consumers have been reported to impact the effectiveness of warfarin and overall safety of the individual.
Nearly twenty percent of Americans use herbal and nonherbal supplements, yet many patients do not disclose supplement intake with physicians. A unique, new study conducted by a team of researchers from Intermountain Health Center analyzed the top 20 herbal and 20 nonherbal supplements taken by Americans based on 2008 sales data. Researchers examined supplement and drug interactions with reported changes in International Normalized Ratio (INR), bleeding and thromboembolic events.
Findings reveal that of the top ten most commonly used herbal and nonherbal supplements – glucosamine, chondroitin, co-enzyme Q10, multi-herbs, probiotic, antioxidants, melatonin, cranberry and soy – more than 90 percent have been reported to interact negatively with warfarin. Of the 40 most commonly taken supplements, 35 percent were associated with a significant change in INR, 64 percent increased the risk of bleeding and 36 percent decreased the effectiveness of warfarin.
“Most people don’t perceive herbal and nonherbal supplements as medication, so they don’t share information with their doctors about the supplements they are taking,” stated Jennifer Strohecker, PharmD, at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Typically, people take supplements with the intention of improving their health; however, many supplements can have an undesirable interaction with other medications. It’s important for patients to disclose as much information as possible about how they are treating themselves to ensure they receive the highest quality of care possible.”
“Significant Interactions With The Most Commonly Used Herbal And Nonherbal Supplements Impact Warfarin Safety And Efficacy” [May 13, 2010, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room 201]
About Heart Rhythm 2010
Heart Rhythm 2010 takes place May 12-15 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The meeting is the most comprehensive educational event on heart rhythm disorders, offering approximately 250 educational opportunities in multiple formats. The world’s most renowned scientists and physicians will present a wide range of heart rhythm topics including cardiac resynchronization therapy, catheter ablation, cardiac pacing and heart failure as well as the latest technology, including state-of-the-art pacemakers and defibrillators.
Cindy Rahman: (703) 283-8499
Heart Rhythm 2010 Press Room: (303) 228-8274 (number effective beginning Tuesday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m through May 15, 2010)