When it comes to taking medications, it is essential to be aware of the potential interactions between supplements and drugs. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) is an antioxidant produced by our body to promote cell growth and maintenance, and its levels may decrease with age. Narcotic painkillers such as codeine should be avoided as they can cause excessive sleepiness and other dangerous complications. Common thyroid medications, such as propylthiouracil or thyroxine, should not be taken with certain supplements due to the risk of adverse interactions or reduced effectiveness of the prescription medication.
In addition, warfarin (a prescription anticoagulant), ginkgo biloba (an herbal supplement), aspirin, and vitamin E (a supplement) can thin the blood. Diuretics such as bumetanide, ethacrynic acid and frusemide should not be taken with other supplements due to the risk of increasing or decreasing the diuretic effect of the drug. Some supplements may make certain medications used to treat HIV infection less effective or increase the risk of side effects. Combining certain supplements with antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can also lead to side effects.
The clinical implications of this interaction are still unknown, but it may be wise to advise patients to avoid antioxidant supplements while undergoing chemotherapy treatments that rely on this mechanism. Before taking any vitamin, mineral, or herbal supplement, it is best to check with your healthcare provider. Cholesterol-lowering agents classified as statins (lovastatin and simvastatin, for example) should not be taken with certain supplements due to the risk of serious interactions. Patients taking warfarin should follow a consistent diet of leafy green vegetables and avoid inconsistent use of supplements containing vitamin K.
Some supplements may increase the risk of bleeding in patients, and you may be advised to stop taking them for a period of time before and after surgery. Combining certain supplements with anticoagulants such as warfarin (even with standard aspirin) can intensify the effect of the medication and cause excessive bleeding. Potassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, and triamterene should not be taken with certain supplements without consulting your doctor due to the risk of hyperkalemia (excess potassium in the blood) and associated problems. If you take any combination of these supplements, ask your doctor about the best time to achieve maximum absorption of each mineral. It is important for individuals taking medications to understand how their supplement intake may interact with their prescribed drugs.
To ensure safety and effectiveness, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking any vitamin, mineral, or herbal supplement in combination with medication.