This section is currently getting built and isn't complete.
(For acknowledgement of this section, please see our Supplement Guide, section 3).
Vitamins, minerals and other supplements are not safe to use in all circumstances. Some may interect adversely with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, intensifying the action of the medication or even producing dangerous side effects.
This section lists most of the popular classes of drug and highlights reactions that may occur when specific supplement interact with them. Few studies have been done to determine the risks involved in taking supplements and medication together. Further research is needed, and caution is always advisable when combining any supplements with drugs.
To find out more about specific supplements listed here, refer to the individual entires in the Our guide to Supplements, in the Articles section.
(N.B. not all the associated sections are complete, and are continually being added to).
Checking for possible interactions
If you are taking a drug for a particular condition, scan the general catagories (or 'articles') listed alphabetically below to see if your drug presents a potential problem if used together with a particular supplement.
The most popular members of each drug class are listed by generic name, but not every drug in the group is included. (if you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.) Remeber that all drugs within a catagory (or 'article') are likely to have similar interactions. Even if you don't see the name of your particular medication listed, the interaction may nevertheless apply to all the drugs in that class.
Consulting your doctor
Unless your doctor recommends it, avoid taking drugs and supplements with similar effects. For example, if you are using a herb such as kava or valerian to treat insomnia, it may induce excessive sleepiness when combined with a conventional sleeping aid or with any drug that can cause drowsiness - a narcotic pain reliever, an OTC antihistamine, or even alcohol.
Similarly, if you are already taking a prescription antidepressant, a nutritional supplement that effects brain chemicals and enhances mood, such as 5-HTP, is best tried only under supervision of a doctor.
If you are taking any type of prescription drug you should not stop taking it without you doctor's advice or consent. If you have a medical or psychiatric condition. or are taking any prescription or OTC medication, always consult your doctor or pharmacist before trying any herb or supplement.