This is a complimentary list of potential nutrient loss from using prescription drugs. It is provided as educational information that can be used to discuss with your health care professional regarding your health care should the need for drug support be indicated by your health care professional. The information is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, or prescribe.
TRICYCLIC ANTIDEPRESSANTS: amitriptyline (Elavil), norptriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), imipramine (Tofranil), and norimipramine
MONOAMINE OXIDASE INHIBITORS (MAOIs): isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate)
SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS (SSRIs): citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Talohexane), escitalopram (Cipralex, Lexapro), fluoxetine (Fluctin, Fontex, Lovan, Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Aropax, Paxil, Seroxat), and sertraline (Apo-Sertral, Gladem, Lustral, Stimuloton, Serlift, Zoloft)
ATYPICAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS: bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban), duloxetine (Ariclaim, Cymbalta, Xeristar, Yentree), venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR)
*SSRIs have several side effects that should be discussed with your health care professional. Although no nutrient loss has been reported, it is still a good idea to discuss using a multi-vitamin mineral supplement with your health care professional whenever there is consideration of needing to take a prescription drug.
MOOD STABILIZER: Lithium (Lithobid, Lithonate, Eskalith)
Fluoroquinolones (any antibiotic that has a generic name that ends with the suffix “-floxacin” such as Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) deplete calcium, and iron.
Tetracyclines (ends with the suffix –“cycline”) depletes calcium and magnesium.
Trimethoprim-containing antibiotics (Trimpex, Proloprim, or Primsol) deplete folic acid
Penicillins (ends with the suffix –“cillin”) deplete potassium
**A good multiple vitamin/mineral should cover your needs for these nutrients while taking antibiotics. However, discuss with your health care professional to make certain you do not need additional B-complex vitamins or vitamin K. Choose a Probiotic that contains live organisms. Remember it is best to take a probiotic as far as possible away from any medication you may be taking. Again, discuss use with your health care professional.
ANTICONVULSANTS/MOOD STABILIZERS: phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitrol), primidone (Mysoline), methsuxamide (elontin), valproic acid (Depakote, Depacon, Depakene), topiramate (Topomax) and gabapentin (Neurontin).
Primidone depletes biotin and folic acid
Valproic acid depletes carnitine
Vitamin B3 interferes with the breakdown of the drugs and can cause an unsafely high drug level. Check with your health care professional before using.
ANTI-OBESITY DRUGS: over the counter (OTC) orlistat (Alli) or if prescribed it goes by the name Xenical
A multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is very beneficial as well as taking Omega 3 fish oils. Check with your health care professional.
ANTIPSYCHOTICS: Typical older class of drugs includes chlorpromazine (Ormazine, Thorazine), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), and thioridazine (Mellaril). New class of durgs includes aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa), paliperidone (Invega, Simap), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), and ziprasidone (Geodon, Zeldox).
Haloperidol depletes CoQ10
Dr. Richard Kunin and Dr. David Hawkins suggest using manganese if Tardive Dyskinesia develops from long time use of these drugs.
BARBITURATES AND BENZODIAZEPINES: Benzodiazepines have generally replaced the use of Barbiturates due to high risk for anxiety disorders.
Benzodiazepines: Diazepam (Valium), (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin), temazepam (Restoril), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), flurazepam (Dalmane) and triazolam (Halcion)
CANCER CHEMOTHERAPY: All cancer chemotherapy acts on rapidly dividing cells and can have dramatic impact on nutrition which can affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Every class of nutrient, including proteins, fats, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) can be depleted. Individual chemotherapy drugs have different potential for GI side effect which should be discussed with your oncology team due to potential intestinal inflammation and villi destruction which can lead to diarrhea, painful eating, nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting.
COLCHICINE: sometimes this is given with the drug probenecid. These two drugs are primarily used for uric acid collecting in the joints and causing inflammation.
CORTICOSTEROIDS: Prednisone, prednisolone, betamethasone, budenoside, triamcinolone, cortisone, methylprednisone.
DIGOXIN: Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps
ISONIAZID: Laniazid Oral and Nydrazid Injection
LEVODOPA (L-DOPA): contains two synthetic forms of the neurotransmitter dopamine (levodopa plus carbidopa)
METHOTREXATE: Folex PFS, Rheumatrex, Trexall
ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES (hormone replacement)
OSTEOPOROSIS DRUGS: Alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel) belong to the bisphosphonate class of drugs. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are another drug class for osteoporosis. This includes tamoxifen and raloxifen (evista)
SULFASALAZINE: Azulfidine, Azulfidine En-tabs are used for rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis
ANTIACIDS: Aluminum-magnesium mixtures (Di-Gel, Gaviscon, Gelusil, Maalox, Mylanta) and calcium carbonate (Caltrate, Dicarbosil, Rolaids, Titralac, Tums)
H2 BLOCKERS: cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), and ranitidine (Zantac)
PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS (PPIs): omeprazole (Prilosec, HK-20, Zegerid), esomeprazole (Nexium), Iansoprazole (Prevacid, Zoton, Inhibitol), pantoprazole (Protonix, Somac, Pantoloe, Protium), and rabeprazole sodium (Aciphex, Rabecid, Pariet).
If you need the support of prescription drugs and use two or more on a regular basis implement the following course of action:
- Know your meds well—what they are for; their generic and brand names and how they affect your body and any side effects including nutrient depletions.
- Keep a list of all your medications, including dosage, schedules and the day you began taking them. Provide this list to ALL of your health care professionals to be included in your medical chart. Keep a copy with you in your wallet, or purse, and if you have caregivers, make certain they also have a copy.
- Check FIRST before consuming any form of alcohol with your health care professional for safety, frequency and allowable amounts.
- Before taking any over the counter drug or herb, check with your doctor for possible side effects.
- Request all of your doctors communicate with one another to avoid overloading you with prescriptions. Symptoms from different underlying conditions can be the same. Two different doctors may end up treating the same symptoms differently adding to your drug intake.
- Ask your doctor to carefully monitor you if a new drug is added to your existing medications.
- Use one pharmacy for purchasing all of your medications to avoid excessive prescribing when multiple doctors are unaware of each other’s prescriptions.