Many people take supplements to ensure they meet nutritional guidelines. Often, you can take supplements, such as a multivitamin, without little concern. Still, many people take supplements while taking prescription medications. While potential interactions are rare, several supplements do not mix well with medications.
Before taking any supplement, you should talk to your doctor, even if you are not on any medications. However, talking with your physician is more crucial when taking a prescription. There are at least four supplements you should avoid when taking specific medications.
Turmeric is an ancient spice. Many nutritionists and researchers praise the supplement for a few reasons, including:
- Improved memory
- Reduced inflammation
- Decreased risk of heart disease
Unfortunately, turmeric also possesses anticoagulant effects. If you take a blood thinner, you want to avoid turmeric because it can result in internal bleeding. You should also avoid vitamin E and Ginkgo Biloba, two supplements that can also thin the blood.
Still, experts explain that turmeric is still acceptable to use in foods and cooking. Doctors and researchers do not believe herbs and spices have much effect on the body when used in foods.
2. St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort comes from a flowering shrub that is native to Europe. The supplement is often praised for its ability to treat moderate or mild depression. Additionally, many women use it to reduce symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes.
Despite the usefulness and potential effectiveness of the supplement, St. John's Wort does not mix well with many prescriptions. Some of the many medications the supplement interacts with include:
- Birth control pills
- Hormone replacement therapies
- Some statins
- Some antihistamines
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a common nutrient in various foods. A person can meet all vitamin C requirements by consuming:
- Bell peppers
- Snow peas
Despite the number of natural sources of vitamin C, many people still take supplements. Supplements are popular because people believe the additional vitamin C can ward off the common cold and reduce the risk of cancer.
Unfortunately, high-dose vitamin C supplements can interfere with some forms of chemotherapy. Additionally, the supplements can disrupt the effectiveness of niacin and statins. Some people will also experience a disruption in estrogen levels.
Probiotics are essentially good bacteria that make up the gut microbiome. People take probiotic supplements to restore balance to the microbiome and aid digestion. Still, while probiotic supplements might be good for most people, they can interfere with certain medications, specifically antibiotics.
Doctors strongly recommend that patients stay away from probiotic supplements when taking antibiotics. More specifically, physicians tell patients not to take a probiotic supplement within two hours of taking their medication.
Supplements can help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Still, taking the wrong supplement can result in problematic interactions with your prescriptions. Your primary care physician should know what you are taking, including supplements. If you feel that some nutrients are missing or lacking in your diet, your doctor can point you toward safe and effective supplements or foods that can help without risking your health.