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Dr Russ Blog - Is Mixing Meds and Vitamins Okay?
Is Mixing Meds and Vitamins Okay?
Created on 11/11/2011

L sent in a good question - can B vitamins be taken at the same time as blood pressure pills?

I know of no reason they should not be taken together. I also did some research specifically looking into the potential for an unhealthy interaction and didn't find any.

So in this instance it appears safe to take your vitamins at the same time you are taking a prescription drug, specifically a B complex with a blood pressure pill.

BUT it's not always safe to mix medication and vitamins, supplements, and herbs - let alone medicine and medicine!

First, even though vitamins, minerals, and herbs may be considered "natural" not all things natural are safe (for example, there are many poisonous plants that naturally grow in our outdoor environment - just because they are natural doesn't mean we should eat them).

And keep in mind that any agent, natural or synthetic, that has an action within the body can have an unhealthy action in the body depending upon a person's unique characteristics, illness, and medications they may be taking.

With respect to the last point, even otherwise health supplements might interfere with a prescription drug's activity. For example, a woman with hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid gland) may be on prescription replacement thyroid hormone.

She might also be on calcium to help prevent osteoporosis based on her doctor's recommendations.

Both can be good for her, but if taken together the calcium can lessen absorption of her thyroid medication.

And every medication is different - within the umbrella of blood pressure medication, for example, there are many different types that act in many different ways.

And there are many different types of vitanins and supplements, and they act in many different ways.

Drugs can interact with prescription drugs in the body, herbs with herbs, and herbs and supplements with medication. So how best to move forward, and be safe?

First, be sure to tell your doctor what vitamins and supplements you are taking.

Next, speak with your pharmacist. Even more so than your doctor, they can help determine whether the agents you are taking might interact with one another, or whether they should not be taken at the same time.

And do your home work - there are many good web sites where you can find information about the potential for unhealthy consequences if medications are mxied with other medications, vitamins, supplements or herbs.

Your question helps underscore a very important point, L - be safe when you're taking vitamins and supplements by discussing them with your doctor and pharmacist first, especially if you're taking precription medication.

I hope this helps, L. Be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **


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