Octacosanol

safety

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to octacosanol or policosanol.

Side Effects and Warnings

Octacosanol is the main component of policosanol. Little research is currently available on octacosanol alone. Therefore, the safety information is based on research conducted on policosanol.
Use octacosanol cautiously in patients taking nitrates.
Use cautiously in patients who are taking other lipid lowering drugs/herbs, such as acipimox, statins, bile acid sequestrants/resins, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors such as ezetimibe, fish oil, plant stanols/sterols, polyphenols, as well as nutraceuticals such as oat bran, psyllium, and soy proteins, due to potential additive blood-cholesterol lowering effects.
Use cautiously in patients taking aspirin due to potential additive platelet inhibition and risk of bleeding.
Use cautiously when using with drugs that lower blood pressure due to potential additive effects.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Octacosanol is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for octacosanol in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for octacosanol in children.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Although not well studied in humans, octacosanol (the main component of policosanol) may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®). Octacosanol may also interact with aspirin.
Octacosanol may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also alter blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
In theory, octacosanol (the main component of policosanol) may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking blood pressure medications due to possible additive effects.
Although not well studied in humans, octacosanol (the main component of policosanol) may lower cholesterol. Caution is advised in patients taking cholesterol medications due to possible additive effects.
Octacosanol (the main component of policosanol) may decrease blood pressure and may interact with beta-blockers. It may also interact with nitrates, but the effects in humans are unclear.
Octacosanol may also have liver damaging effects. Caution is advised in patients with liver disorders or taking liver medications.

Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

Although not well studied in humans, octacosanol (the main component of policosanol) may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Octacosanol may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also alter blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
In theory, octacosanol may lower cholesterol. Caution is advised in patients taking cholesterol-altering herbs and supplements due to possible additive effects.
Octacosanol may be liver damaging. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs and supplements that may also damage the liver and in patients with liver disorders.
Octacosanol may also lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking other blood pressure-altering herbs or supplements due to possible additive effects.
Taking policosanol (which includes octacosanol) and omega-3 fatty acids or willow bark may have additive cholesterol-lowering effects and may also alter blood clotting.