Drug combos can be dangerous!
There is a lot of hype surrounding medical supplements and Americans are adding more and more supplements to their regular diet. This ranges from minerals and Vitamins to flaxseed and fish oils.Combining supplements and medication can result in disastrous results for some as they can seriously affect absorption, metabolism or excretion of a medication and impact its potency.
Are natural supplements safe?
Contrary to popular belief, not all the natural supplements are safe! many weight loss products claim to be all-natural or herbal,but their ingredients may interact with medications or may be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions.Let us take a prime example, medication prescribed for HIV/AIDS, Heart Disease, birth control pills, depression and treatments for organ transplants become less effective when used with St. Johns Wort, a herbal supplement.
Vitamins & drugs may not always mix!
Omega-3 supplements can increase bleeding risks with anti-clotting drugs. These may also increase side effects of steroids such as prednisone and Hydrocortisone and bring down effects of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. Both ginger and garlic can increase bleeding risks when taken with anti-clotting drugs (blood thinners). Garlic and ginger lower blood sugar so may affect insulin needs. Calcium supplements promote stronger bones but can interfere with the absorption of certain medicines such as bisphosphonates (for Osteoporosis) and some antibiotics. Warfarin (prescription drug), Ginkgo Biloba (a herbal supplement), Aspirin and vitamin E (a supplement) are all blood thinners. If you combine any of these two together, it can up the risk for internal bleeding or stroke.
How do you stay safe?
Make sure that every time you visit your doctor, you carry a list of all the dietary supplements and medications you are currently taking with dosages. In case you want to add a dietary supplement to your daily routine, check first. Also tell your doctor in case your health status has changed, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have had recent illnesses or surgery.This will help your doctor give you the right advice.