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Q: Can prescription drugs cause vitamin deficiencies?

Posted June 05, 2013 in Adel, Advice Column

A: More people are taking prescription medications over a long period. Drugs such as cholesterol-lowering, diuretics or water pills, acid-blockers, and those that treat diabetes or high blood pressure can all lead to various nutrient deficiencies if taken from months to years.

For example, coenzyme Q-10 is required by every cell in the human body to help create energy. When depleted by long-term intake of drugs like cholesterol-lowering statins, persons may experience muscle weakness and/or pain, inability to concentrate, depression, confusion, fatigue, amnesia, lowered sex drive, weakened immune system, shortness of breath, nerve pain and organ failure such as the kidney, liver or heart. Supplementation with coenzyme Q-10 has been proven to prevent these consequences. Potent acid-blocking drugs such as omeprazole, Nexium and Dexilant prevent absorption vitamin B-12, calcium and magnesium, iron, folic acid, vitamin C and zinc. Over time, these nutrient deficiencies may cause anemia, osteoporosis and increased risk of bone fractures, memory loss, confusion and nerve pain or tingling. Fortunately, reputable supplement companies are beginning to offer combination vitamin products targeted to replenish the lost nutrients. As an example, “Replenish PPI/H2 Complete” contains high concentrations of vitamin B-12, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamin C to prevent headache, nausea, muscle spasms, flatulence, constipation, osteoporosis and other symptoms often seen with strong acid reducers. Supplementation with high-potency nutrients is essential when taking certain prescription drugs for a prolonged period. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine if you are at risk for nutrient depletion.

Information provided by Toni Sumpter, Sumpter Pharmacy and Wellness, 628 Nile Kinnick Drive South, Suite A, 993-1119.





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