Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural remedy, but it may interact with some medications. Learn about the potential risks and benefits.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of fermented juice made from crushed apples and yeast. It contains acetic acid and nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C.
ACV is widely used in cooking, salad dressings, and as a natural remedy for various health conditions.
But before you drink ACV or apply it to your skin, you should be aware of its possible interactions with some medications. ACV may affect how some drugs work or cause unwanted side effects.
That’s why it’s important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using ACV, especially if you take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs regularly and learn to use medication side effects checker tools.
Some of the medications that may interact with ACV
Here are some of the medications that may interact with ACV:
ACV may lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates and improving insulin sensitivity.
This may be beneficial for people with diabetes, but it may also increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take diabetes drugs that lower blood sugar, such as
- metformin, or
If you use ACV and diabetes medications, you should monitor your blood sugar levels closely and adjust your dosage accordingly.
Blood pressure medications
ACV may lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and reducing inflammation.
This may be helpful for people with hypertension, but it may also interfere with some blood pressure drugs, such as
- beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol),
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine), or
- diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide).
If you use ACV and blood pressure medications, you should check your blood pressure regularly and consult your doctor if you notice any changes.
ACV may have anti-clotting effects by inhibiting platelet aggregation and increasing fibrinolysis (the breakdown of blood clots).
This may be beneficial for people with cardiovascular disease, but it may also increase the risk of bleeding if you take blood thinners, such as
- heparin, or
If you use ACV and blood thinners, you should watch for signs of bleeding, such as bruising, nosebleeds, or gum bleeding.
ACV may lower cholesterol levels by reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver and increasing the excretion of bile acids in the feces.
This may be good for people with high cholesterol, but it may also reduce the effectiveness of some cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as
- statins (e.g., atorvastatin),
- fibrates (e.g., fenofibrate), or
If you use ACV and cholesterol-lowering medications, you should have your cholesterol levels checked regularly and follow your doctor’s advice on dosage adjustments.
ACV may lower potassium levels in the blood by increasing urine output and causing electrolyte imbalance.
This may be harmful for people who take potassium-depleting drugs, such as
- corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone),
- laxatives (e.g., senna), or
- digoxin (a medication that treats congestive heart failure and irregular heartbeat).
Low potassium levels can cause muscle weakness, cramps, irregular heartbeat, or cardiac arrest.
If you use ACV and potassium-depleting medications, you should have your potassium levels tested regularly and supplement with potassium if needed.