Health Guide

Omega-3 fish oils

What is it?

Omega-3 fish oils are an herbal medicine/supplement used for inflammation, immune function, blood vessel activity, and blood clotting. The most widely accepted use of omgea-3 fish oils is in cardiovascular health.

Other names for Omega-3 fish oils include: Cod Liver Oil, Docosahexaenoic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breast feeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much omega-3 fish oils you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking omega-3 fish oils. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take omega-3 fish oils without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)) (1)


  • Before taking omega-3 fish oils, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding

Side Effects: Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Feel weak, dizzy
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising


1. Buckley MS, Goff AD & Knapp W: Fish oil interaction with warfarin. Ann Pharmacother 2004; 38:50-53.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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