Salmon and Warfarin

Publication Date: 
Wed, 04/01/2015
By: Alere Staff

Most seafood and shellfish contain Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly known as fish oil.1  It comes from small plant cells called phytoplankton that are a source of food for the fish.1 Fish with darker flesh like herring, salmon, bluefish and mackerel tend to contain higher amounts of fish oil compared to lighter flesh fishes such as flounder or cod.1   

The amount of fish oil contained in salmon can also vary depending on several factors such as location, season and diet of the fish. For example, farm-raised salmon can contain more than 1500 milligrams per three ounce cooked serving. Meanwhile, wild salmon will contain less at 500 to 1000 milligrams per three ounce cooked serving. Canned salmon can contain 1000 to 1500 milligrams per three ounce serving.1

Salmon and Warfarin

Significant increases in the amount of fish oil ingested can have an effect on your INR, causing it to be higher than usual.2 If you have started to consume an increased amount of salmon or other dark fleshed fish on a regular basis, notify your doctor as it may be necessary to monitor your INR closely to ensure you remain within your prescribed range.2 Your doctor managing your warfarin therapy should also be notified if you have been prescribed to take fish oil capsules so that they can be sure your testing frequency is appropriate. Study results have shown that testing your INR weekly provides the greatest safety for patients taking warfarin.3

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References:

  1. SeafoodHealthFacts.org. Seafood and Nutrition. Seafood Health Facts: Making Smart Choices. 2015. Retrieved from website: http://seafoodhealthfacts.org/seafood_nutrition/practitioners/omega3_content.php
  2. Buckley MS, Goff AD, Knapp WE. Fish Oil Interaction with Warfarin. Ann Pharmacother.2004 Jan;38(1):50-2.
  3. DeSantis, PhD, Grace et al. STABLE Results: Warfarin Home Monitoring Achieves Excellent INR Control. Am J Manag Care.2014;20(3):202-209