- What other names is Policosanol known by?
- What is Policosanol?
- How does Policosanol work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Policosanol.
sugar cane and other sources.
Policosanol is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
Policosanol is used for conditions that affect the health of the heart and blood vessels including high cholesterol, leg pain due to poor circulation (intermittent claudication), and narrowing of the blood vessels that serve the heart.
Likely Effective for...
- Leg pain due to poor blood circulation (intermittent claudication). Taking policosanol by mouth seems to improve the distance people with intermittent claudication can walk without pain.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Clogged arteries. Early research suggests that taking policosanol daily, alone or together with aspirin for 20 months, can reduce heart disease-related events in people with clogged arteries.
- Inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Limited research suggests that taking policosanol does not reduce total cholesterol or "bad cholesterol" (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) in people with an inherited tendency to have high cholesterol.
- High cholesterol. Research findings disagree about the effectiveness of policosanol in treating high cholesterol. There have been some studies that find it effective. However, all of these studies were done in Cuba, where the sugar cane that is used to make policosanol is grown. Research done outside Cuba (in Germany, Canada, and South Africa) found that policosanol does not lower cholesterol.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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rash, migraines, insomnia or drowsiness, irritability, dizziness, upset stomach, increased appetite, trouble urinating, weight loss, nose and gum bleeds, and other side effects.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking policosanol if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: Policosanol can slow blood clotting and might increase the chance of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Surgery: Policosanol can slow blood clotting. There is a concern that it might increase the chance of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using policosanol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Policosanol might slow blood clotting. Taking policosanol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Policosanol might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking policosanol along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much policosanol if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.