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Common medication can cause nutrient deficiences
A depletion of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals is usually considered the result of poor diet, high
levels of stress, environmental pollution, and certain diseases. However recently, scientific studies have
shown that certain medications can also cause nutrient depletion.
Drug-induced nutrient depletion can become a serious problem – especially when you consider that 12 of
the top 20 most frequently used prescription drugs have been shown to cause nutrient depletion. These
include common drugs such as birth control pills, antibiotics, and antidepressants as well as medications
used to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Sometimes the effects of nutrient depletion are treated with another medication, which can cause its own
further problems. Nutrient supplements can be used to help avoid this cascading effect.
Speak to your Guardian Markhamack pharmacist about a FREE consultation that helps identify potential
nutrient deficiencies your medications may be causing.
Here are some of the most common conditions requiring medications that could cause nutrient depletion,
as well as some options you should talk to your Guardian Markhamack Pharmacist about:
Heart Disease, Parkinson's Disease Birth Control (Use of Oral Contraceptives) Infection, Diarrhea Ulcer Epilepsy
Condition: Heart Disease, Parkinson's Disease
Medication Examples: Lipitor, Levodopa, Mirapex
Recommendation: Coenzyme Q10
In some countries like Japan, heart disease is treated with prescription drugs as well as with coenzyme
Q10 (CoQ10), an essential chemical in our cells that decreases as we age.
Some people with heart disease have lower amounts of it and studies show that it's also depleted in
CoQ10 is a safe and well-tolerated supplement. It produces minimal and infrequent side effects (which
may include loss of appetite, diarrhea, or nausea).
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take CoQ10, since more studies are required to
Ask your Guardian Markhamack pharmacist for more details and to recommend a suitable dose for you to
Condition: Birth Control (Use of Contraceptives)
Medication Examples: Alesse, Trycyclen, Evr
a Recommendation: Daily Multivitamin
Even if you're eating properly, birth control pills can deplete folic acid and other important vitamins and
Loss of certain vitamins in women who take birth control pills has led to problems such as abnormal cells
in the cervix. It may also increase the risk of depression, anxiety and a lower sex drive.
If you're taking birth control pills, you should take a high-quality multivitamin every day. You may also
require additional supplements. Please speak with your Guardian Markhamack pharmacist today so you
can reduce health risks caused by nutrient deficiency.
Before you stop taking birth control pills, be sure to talk to your family doctor or Guardian Markhamack
Condition: Infections, Diarrhea
Medication Examples: Penicillin, Amoxicillin
Antibiotic prescription medications are designed to remove the "bad" bacteria that cause infection, but a
side effect of that is that they also remove the "good" bacteria. With less "good" bacteria there's an
increased risk of diarrhea, bloating and, for women, vaginal yeast infections.
To help prevent and treat these side effects, your Guardian Markhamack pharmacist can recommend a
natural, safe and effective supplement called a probiotic.
Probiotics are made up of a blend of "good" bacteria that are normally present in your body. These "good"
bacteria prevent "bad" bacteria from growing and causing infection and disease. Probiotics also help with
digestion, produce some vitamins, and help break down the cholesterol in your food.
Probiotic supplements have to be taken at the right time of day because your antibiotic medication can
destroy probiotics as well. Talk with your Guardian Markhamack pharmacist to determine when you
should take your antibiotic medicine and when you should take your probiotic supplement.
If you do have diarrhea it's important that you don't try to treat it with any pink bismuth liquid (e.g. Pepto-
Bismol®) or diarrhea tablets before speaking with your family doctor or Guardian Markhamack
Medication Examples: Nexium, Losec, Zantac
Recommendation: Daily Multivitamin
Anti-ulcer medications may lead to depletion of certain vitamins and minerals. These drugs work by
lowering the amount of stomach acid, which can relieve the pain associated with heartburn, acid
indigestion, and ulcers. However, stomach acid is important to help with the absorption of many nutrients.
There are 2 kinds of medication normally used to treat ulcers:
1) H-2 receptor antagonists that include:
cimetidine (Tagamet) ranitidine (Zantac) famotidine (Pepcid) nizatadine (Axid)
These medications may deplete vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and zinc.
2) Proton pump inhibitors that include:
omeprazole (Losec) lansoprazole (Prevacid) esomeprazole (Nexium) pantoprazole (Pantaloc) rabeprazole (Pariet)
These medications may deplete vitamin B12.
The depletion of these nutrients can have the following effects:
1. B12: anemia, tiredness, weakness, and increased cardiovascular disease risk
2. Folic acid: birth defects, cervical dysplasia (abnormal cell growth on the surface of the cervix),
3. Vitamin D: skeletal problems such as osteoporosis, muscle weakness, tooth decay, and hearing
4. Calcium: osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, and tooth decay.
5. Iron: hair loss, brittle nails, and anemia, with accompanying feelings of weakness, fatigue, and low
6. Zinc: slow wound healing, loss of sense of smell and taste, and lower immunity Nutritional
supplements can help prevent or overcome medication-induced nutrient depletion. In many cases,
this can increase the effectiveness of a medication, reduce side effects, and contribute to a longer,
healthier life. So talk to your family doctor or Guardian Markhamack pharmacist to determine what
nutritional supplements you can take to offset the depletion.
Medication Examples: Dilantin, Tegretol, Epival
Recommendation: Daily Multivitamin
Because of the way your body processes some anti-epileptic medications, some of them may lead to
depletion of certain vitamins and minerals:
Phenobarbital can deplete vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin, and calcium Phenytoin (Dilantin) can deplete vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin B12, vitamin B1, folic acid, biotin,
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) can deplete vitamin D, folic acid, and biotin Primidone (Mysoline) can deplete vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin, and calcium Valproic acid (Depakene) can deplete folic acid, carnitine, copper, selenium, and zinc
These depletions can have the following effects:
1. Vitamin D: osteoporosis, hearing loss, and muscle weakness
2. Calcium: osteoporosis, hear/blood pressure irregularities, and tooth decay
3. Folic acid: birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, and cardiovascular disease
4. Vitamin K: blood coagulation and skeletal problems
5. Biotin: hair loss, depression, cardiac irregularities, and dermatitis
6. Vitamin B12: anemia, tiredness, weakness, and increased cardiovascular disease risk
7. Vitamin B1: depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, and edema
8. Carnitine: muscle weakness, cramps, and fatigue
Nutritional supplements can help prevent or overcome medication-induced nutrient depletion. In many
cases, this can increase the effectiveness of a medication, reduce side effects, and contribute to a longer,
So talk to your family doctor or Guardian Markhamack Pharmacist to determine what nutritional
supplements you can take to offset the depletion
Revised 5/04 – Becky Gaffney, MSN 12/06 – Cedaliah Melton, MSN Melissa Powell, MSN Math proficiency is considered one of the critical skills necessary to meet one of the requirements of nursing. This proficiency is basic to safely administering medications and intravenous fluids. Enclosed is a booklet to guide you in mastering the mathematical competencies necessary for the accurate computa
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