Garlic has been known to have antiplatelet properties. Because of the lack of major clinical data regarding the safety of concomitant use of garlic supplements and anticoagulants, we decided to evaluate the safety of using garlic extract along with oral anticoagulation therapy. During this project we tested aged garlic extract (AGE), a commercial garlic preparation, with warfarin (Coumadin). Sixty-six (66) patients were screened for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study. Fifty-two (52) patients were randomized for the project. Forty-eight patients (30 men and 18 women, with a mean age of 56+/-10 years) completed the study. Eighteen patients (14 before randomization, 4 after randomization) were dropped from the study. The study medication (AGE or placebo) was administered at a dose of 5 mL twice a day for 12 wk. Potential bleeding and thromboembolic episodes were monitored. There was no evidence of increased hemorrhage in either the placebo or the AGE group. Adverse events included headache, fatigue, colds, and dizziness. However, no significant difference was found in the incidence of these minor adverse events between the groups. Thus, the adverse events are unlikely to be attributable to AGE. The results suggest that AGE is relatively safe and poses no serious hemorrhagic risk for closely monitored patients on warfarin oral anticoagulation therapy. Although the risk-benefit ratio of AGE use needs to be considered carefully when warfarin therapy is necessary, its positive effects may be beneficial to people with a high-risk background or who are taking cardiovascular medications.