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Medication Depletion of Critical Nutrients

Anti-Inflammatory and Other Drugs

Some prescription drugs deplete critical nutrients from the body.  Use this guide to see if your medications are depleting critical nutrients.  Check with your Doctor or Pharmacist to see if you should be supplementing these nutrients to avoid the potential side-effects of nutrient depletion. 

Cardiovascular drug induced nutrient depletions are listed here.

Medication Nutrients Depleted Other Considerations
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs    

Cortisone, Decadron, Flonase, Nasalide, Prednisone

Calcium, DHEA, Magnesium, Melatonin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamins B6, C, D, Zinc
  • N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC) supplementation may be beneficial with prednisone.

Azulfidine, Sulfasalazine

Folic Acid
  • Iron supplementation can decrease absorption; iron should be taken at least 2 hours prior
  • PABA may interfere with this drug's activity.

Anacin, Aspirin, Bayer, Tricosal, Salflex

Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium, Sodium

Celebrex, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB

Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron Phosphate
  • Can cause stomach irritation when combined with iron.
  • May cause elevated blood potassium levels in people with abnormal kidney function.
  • May increase blood potassium levels.
Anti-Asthmatic Drugs    
Albuterol, Flovent, Nasonex Calcium, DHEA, Magnesium, Melatonin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamins B6, C, D, K, Zinc  
Diabetes Drugs    

Dymelor, Micronase, Glucotrol, Amaryl

  • Aloe vera juice may improve insulin and lipid levels.
  • 850 mg magnesium hydroxide increases Glucotrol absorption and activity, which could be either helpful or harmful; avoid supplementation without physicians supervision.


Vitamin B12
  • May decrease magnesium excretion.
  • Guar Gum slows the absorption rate of metformin.
Amoxicillin, Cipro, Doxycycline, Trimethoprim /Sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ) Biotin, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, K, Probiotics  
Psychotherapeutic Drugs    


CoQ10, Iron
  • May increase serum potassium levels.
  • May cause liver damage; milk thistle supplementation shown to be helpful.

Desyrel, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft

  • Low levels of folic acid create a poor response to the drug.
  • 5-HTP and L-tryptophan should be avoided.
Tricyclic Antidepressants Elavil, Norpramin, Pamelor, Adapin, Sinequan, Tofranil CoQ10, Vitamin B2  
Valproic Acid Derivatives


Carnitine, Copper  
Digestive Aids    

Agoral Plain, Bisco-Lax, Dulcolax

Beta-carotene, Vitamins A, D, E, K, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium  

Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, Nephrox, Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Tums

Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium
  • May increase aluminum levels when combined with calcium citrate.
  • Aluminum supplements may interfere with folic acid and copper absorption.
  • People taking diuretics, digoxin, or digitalis may experience a fall in serum potassium levels if they take magnesium without additional potassium.
Proton Pump Inhibitors

Prevacid, Prilosec

Vitamin B12 Possible interference with beta-carotene absorption.
Histamine H2 Blockers

Axid, Pepcid, Ranitidine, Tagamet, Zantac

Calcium, Copper, Folic Acid, Iron, Vitamins B12, D, Zinc  
Other Drugs    
A-II Receptor Blockers


Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Phosphorus  


  • May interfere with calcium and magnesium absorption.
  • Supplements should be taken 2 hours before or after medication.

Digoxin, Lanoxin

Vitamin B1, K, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
  • Hawthorn herb should be avoided.
  • Possible harmful interaction with St. John's Wort and licorice herbs.
  • Magnesium should be taken 1 hour before or 4-6 hours after taking this medication.
Thyroid Hormones




CoQ10, Vitamin B6