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Gamma Linolenic Acid

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is found in evening primrose oil. It is thought to help diabetic neuropathy. In neuropathy, linolenic acid conversion to GLA is thought to be impaired, potentially leading to problems with nerve membrane structure, impulse conduction, and nerve blood flow. Supplementation with GLA may alleviate these problems. Side effects have included mild GI effects and headache. Potential drug interactions include additive anticoagulant activity with antiplatelet agents and possible seizure activity if the patient is taking agents that lower seizure threshold.

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Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, BCPS, FASCP, CDE, BC-ADM
November 24, 2001

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