POLICOSANOL is a dietary supplement. Policosanol is claimed to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. The product may benefit people with high cholesterol, those with a history of stroke or transient inschemic attack, or people with intermittent claudication (pain in the legs with walking). Policosanol is not officially endorsed by the FDA for any purpose. Some products also contain coenzyme Q10.
It is important for you to tell your prescriber or health care professional or other health care professional that you are using policosanol.
You should discuss policosanol with your health care professional BEFORE taking it if you have any of these conditions:
an unusual reaction to policosanol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Policosanol tablets or capsules should be taken orally (i.e., swallowed) with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the package label, or ask your health care professional for directions. Take the total daily dose or one of the daily doses before bedtime.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this supplement in children. Special care may be needed.
Missing a dose is probably not harmful. If you miss a dose, simply resume taking it on your previous schedule. Do not take double doses or extra doses to catch up, however.
medicines to lower blood pressure (examples: water pills or diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
If you notice any changes in your physical health while taking policosanol, you should contact your health care provider.
Different brands of policosanol might contain different amounts of active ingredient so be careful to use the same brand. It is recommended that you use a brand from a reliable manufacturer. Products also vary in the other included ingredients, which may affect the efficacy or expected side effects of the product. Your health care professional or pharmacist can assist you in finding a product.
If you notice any side effects from policosanol, tell your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible. Other ingredients are included in some policosanol products. Check the product label for other ingredients, as they may be the cause of any side effect.
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
diarrhea (severe or duration longer than 2 days)
nausea/vomiting (severe or duration longer than 2 days)
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 8 and 25 degrees C (46 and 77 degrees F); do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS:
Dietary supplements include amino acids, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other plant-derived substances, and extracts of these substances. Products are easy to identify as they must state 'Dietary Supplement' on the label. A 'Supplement Facts' panel is provided on the label for most products. Supplements are not drugs and are not regulated like pharmaceuticals. You should note that rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. Differences in the potency and purity of these products can occur. Scientific data to support the use of a dietary supplement for a certain condition may not be available. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
Always read product labels and follow directions.
Look for products containing ingredients with the 'USP' notation. This indicates the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
'Natural' doesn't mean a product is safe for humans to consume.
Supplements produced or distributed by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls as these companies have standards in place for their other products. You can write to the company or manufacturer for more information about the conditions under which the products are made.