When Supplements and Medications Don’t Go Well Together.

Every now and then we all need some sort of prescription over-the-counter medication. But do you also take your vitamins and minerals when you take medication?

Have you ever considered there could be a danger in mixing certain supplements and medications?

There might be. Some supplements increase the effect of medications, while others decrease it.

What’s more, certain supplements change metabolism, absorption, and even excretion of medications, which means you could be getting too much or too little of what you need.

To add to that, some supplements aren’t effective when mixed together.

It all gets a bit confusing.
  1. Calcium and Magnesium
This is a common one. Many of us, especially those who train hard and want to prevent stiff muscles and keep our bones strong, take calcium and magnesium supplements. But when you take them at the same time, they might not be as effective.

Taking large amounts of minerals, say, researchers, with other minerals, actually reduces absorption. What happens is the minerals compete with each other and they both lose.

To avoid this, take your minerals two hours apart.
  1. Blood Thinners
Did you know that there are quite a few supplements that interact negatively with blood thinners? These include fish oils, ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginger, vitamin E and K, feverfew, and pau d’arco. Rather than intensifying the effects of blood thinners, the supplements counteract and could result in excessive bleeding.
  1. Green Tea and Iron
Iron helps distribute oxygen to cells. You need it for energy. But mix it with green tea, curcumin supplements or even black tea and your body can struggle to absorb the iron. Drink green teas, just not at the same time as taking your iron supplements.
  1. Antidepressants
There are quite a few supplements you shouldn’t take with antidepressants. When you take antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxtine with supplements like St. John’s Wort or melatonin, there’s a risk of serious adverse interactions. What’s more, if you take antidepressants within 14 days of some dietary supplements, there’s a risk of confusion, anxiety, and even excessive sedation.
  1. Melatonin
Believe it or not, you can overdo supplements with sedative effects, like melatonin, kava, St. John’s Wort, ashwagandha, and valerian. Taken together, they can make you too sleepy. Read the labels so you know what to expect and how to dose accordingly.
  1. Diuretics
Medications that reduce fluid in your body through urination are called diuretics. Potassium-sparing varieties, that you find in certain medications, should never be taken with certain supplements because there’s a risk of too much potassium in the blood (called hyperkalemia) and other problems. If you need to take diuretics, avoid taking supplements like potassium, phosphorus, and white willow bark at the same time.

Loop diuretics should also not be mixed with certain supplements as there’s the risk or increasing or decreasing its effect.

Thiazide diuretics shouldn’t be used with supplements like calcium, aloe vera, and licorice as it can cause serious side effects and increase or decrease the effectiveness of the medication.
  1. Calcium and Potassium
This is the same as taking calcium and magnesium at the same time – they just don’t work when taken together. If you exercise in the heat or suffer from digestive issues, you can fall short on potassium. If you must take both potassium and calcium, space them out a few hours apart.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Before you mix supplements and medications, here are a few things to think about:
  • If you want to add a new dietary supplement to your lifestyle, ask your health care professional first and let them know what medications and other supplements you’re already taking.
  • Each time you visit your health care professional, take along a list of the medications and supplements you currently take. Include dosages and how often you take each product.
  • Always let your health care professional know if there have been any changes to your health, especially if you’ve recently had surgery or suffered from an illness.
There are many supplements and medications that don’t go well together. Make sure you have all the facts before mixing and matching!

 

Sources – Mayo Clinic

AHA Journals

Medical News Today

More health tips and lifestyle  at marksalinas.com

 

 

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