Friday, February 29, 2008

Curcumin, Coumadin, and Other Anticoagulant Medications

If you see a physician for treatment of congestive heart failure and/or atrial fibrillation (A-fib), chances are you also take clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid) and warfarin (Coumadin)or a similar anticoagulant. And since all anticoagulant medications work within a narrow range, you don't want either to increase or decrease your clotting factors without changing the doctor working with you to get the right dosage of your medication.

While there are no reports of any bleeding out after they ate curry (which contains turmeric that is the source of curcumin) or after they took curcumin, there is at least a theoretical possibility of curcumin interacting with your anticoagulant meds. Curcumin does prevent clotting, well enough that some modern arterial stents are loaded with curcumin to keep clots from clogging them up.

The way curcumin prevents clotting, moreover, isn't the same way Coumadin or Plavix prevents clotting. Curcumin keeps fibrin from "weaving a net" to catch red blood cells. Coumadin prevents the liver from making the fibrin "fibers" in the first place. If you have a medication stopping the production of fibrin and a supplement like curcumin making fibrin less efficient in making clots, your blood may flow more easily but you may bleed more easily, too.

If you are taking an anticoagulant, have a discussion with your doctor before you take curcumin. This way you can work together proactively to make sure you get the maximum of both your prescription medications and any supplements you take.

You may also be interested in:

Could Curcumin Cure Congestive Heart Failure?
Curcumin and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) for Congestive Heart Failure
Curcumin and Hawthorn for Congestive Heart Failure
Could Curcumin Lower LDL Cholesterol (and Raise HDL)?
Curcumin and Bioperine
Curcumin, Arjuna, and Pushkarmoola for Heart Conditions


Pan CJ, Shao ZY, Tang JJ, Wang J, Huang N. In vitro studies of platelet adhesion, activation, and protein adsorption on curcumin-eluting biodegradable stent materials. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2007 Sep 1;82(3):740-6.

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