Based on your medication list, there is a potential interaction between turmeric and warfarin. Caution is advised when using both together and should not be combined unless under the supervision of your doctor.
Turmeric Warfarin Interaction
Studies have shown that turmeric can have strong antiplatelet (i.e. blood thinning) effects. This has the potential to increase the risk of bleeding in any patient that is on anticoagulant therapy. However, most of the data obtained is via laboratory tests and research in humans in largely scarce.
One study showed that turmeric increases the clotting time in indivuduals using the drugs that antagonized vitamin K (a similar mechanism of action as warfarin). Another study, which reviewed a plethora of published data of the effects of turmeric on the blood concluded that the herb has a definitive blood thinning ability.
Other studies however, show no difference in clotting time. Until more definitive information is known, it is recommended to avoid the use of turmeric with warfarin, unless your doctor is aware that you are on the combination and can monitor your INR (International Normalized Ratio).
Based on the information available for turmeric, use of turmeric is not recommended for those taking any antiplatelet/anticoagulant drug including:
- Plavix (clopidogrel)
- Fragmin (dalteparin)
- Lovenox (enoxaparin)
- Ticlid (ticlopidine)
Curcumin is the active constituent derived from turmeric, a spice that is harvested from the root of the turmeric plant. It is thought to have a variety of effects including:
- Analgesic (i.e. pain relieving)
- Anti-glycemic (i.e. lowers blood sugar levels)
- Antilipidemic (i.e. lowers cholesterol levels)
Generally, supplements that contain turmeric will specifically list the amount or percentage of curcumin contained in the product, as curcumin is thought to be the ingredient responsible for the majority of medicinal effects.
However, data indicates that the bioavailability (rate and extent of absorption) is of turmeric/curcumin is extremely low. Therefore, many supplements contain Bioperine (piperine), an extract from black pepper. The inclusion of Bioperine greatly increases the absorption of curcumin, allowing the supplement to provide more benefit when taken orally.
Data is lacking on the potential interaction between warfarin and turmeric but based on what is known, the combination is recommended to be avoided. There is theoretically an increased risk of bleeding while taking the combination. Due to this, it is important to speak with your doctor if you wish to start taking turmeric so you can be monitored appropriately.