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Fish Oil

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 2, 2021.

What are other common names?

  • ADH
  • DHA
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  • E-EPA
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
  • Eicosapentanoic Acid
  • EPA
  • Essential Fatty Acid
  • Ethyl Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Ethyl-EPA
  • Fish Oil Fatty Acid
  • Fish Oil Fatty Acids
  • Fish Oils
  • Krill Oil
  • LCPUFA's
  • Long Chain PUFA's
  • Long Chain PUFAs
  • Lovaza
  • Marine Oil
  • Marine Oil Fatty Acids
  • Marine Oils
  • N-3 Fatty Acid
  • N-3 Fatty Acids
  • Neuromins
  • Omega 3
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Omega Fatty Acid
  • Omega-3
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Oméga 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid
  • PUFA
  • PUFAs
  • W-3 Fatty Acid
  • W-3 Fatty Acids

What is this product used for?

Some people use fish oil to help with heart problems like coronary artery disease. People with high triglycerides may use fish oil to lower their triglyceride levels.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (Lovenox).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (Activase), reteplase (Retevase), or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Naprosyn).

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Bleeding problems

    • Blood sugar problems

    • Heart problems

    • Blood pressure problems

    • High cholesterol

    • Abnormal heart beat like atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter

    • Stomach ulcers

    • Liver problems

    • Mental health problems like low mood or bipolar disorder

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.

What should I watch for?

  • Stomach cramps

  • Fishy taste

  • Heartburn

  • Increased burping

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of low blood pressure. These include feeling dizzy, weak, or tired; fainting; more thirst; or skin that is pale, cool, and clammy.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Changes in menstrual periods like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad throwing up

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.