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Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion: Are your
prescription drugs causing nutrient deficiencies?

The following information is provided for you as a guide. Do not discontinue or change your medication unless directed by your medical doctor.

Simply click on an entry in the list of drugs below to learn about the nutrient losses that may result from its use.

This information has been compiled by Dr. Reiner G. Kremer, DC, DABCI, NMD and the Journal of The American Chiropractic Association. See sources.

Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Magnesium & Aluminum
Calcium
Phosphorus
Folic Acid
• Osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure problems, tooth decay
• Skeletal problems and anxiety or nervousness
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
Sodium bicarbonate
Alka-Seltzer, Baking soda
Potassium
Folic Acid
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Antibiotics, General Aminogylcosides, Cephalosporins, Fluoroquinolones, Macrolides,Penicillin, Tetracyclines, etc.
B vitamins, Vitamin K
• Short-term depletion effects are minimal, but failure to re-inoculate the GI tract with beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics, often results in dysbiosis, which causes gas and bloating, decreases the digestion and absorption of nutrients, and may lead to a variety of other health problems. Everyone, from infants to the elderly, is urged to take probiotics (containing acidophilus and bifidus bacteria) twice daily with meals for two weeks following a course of antibiotics.
Tetracyclines
Calcium
Magnesium
Iron
Vitamin B6
Zinc
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Slow wound healing, fatigue, anemia
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk.
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfunction
Tuberculosis Drugs
Rifampin
Isonazid,INH
Ethambutol
Vitamin B6
Vitamin D
Vitamin B3
Vitamin D
Calcium
Zinc
Copper
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Skin, gastrointestinal and nervous problems
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfunction
• Anemia, fatigue, cardiovascular and connective tissue problems
Aminogylcosides
Neomycin,
Amikacin, Gentamicin
Kanamycin, Neomycin
Streptomycin, Tobramycin
Fat, Nitrogen, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin A,
Sodium, Vitamin B12,
Carotenoids
• Minimal problems with short-term use
Trimethoprim
Bactrim,
Septra,
Proloprim,
Trimpex
Folic Acid
• Minimal problems with short-term use
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Phenobarbital & Barbiturates
Vitamin D
Calcium
Folic Acid
Vitamin K
Biotin
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
• Blood clotting and skeletal problems
• Hair loss, depression, cardiac irregularities, dermatitis
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Vitamin D
Calcium
Folic Acid
Vitamin K
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B1
Biotin
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
• Blood coagulation and skeletal problems
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, edema
• Hair loss, depression, cardiac irregularities, dermatitis
Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
Folic Acid
Vitamin D
Biotin
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Hair loss, depression, cardiac irregularities, dermatitis
Primidone (Mysoline)
Folic Acid
Biotin
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
• Hair loss, depression, cardiac irregularities, dermatitis
Valproic Acid
Depakene
Depakote
Depacon
Folic Acid
Carnitine
Copper
Selenium
Zinc
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
• Muscle weakness, cramps, fatigue
• Anemia, fatigue, cardiovascular and connective tissue problems
• Lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Sulfonylureas
Acetohexamine (Dymelor)
Gylburide
(Micronase/Glynase/
DiaBeta)
Tolazamide (Tolinase)
Coenzyme Q10
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
Biguanides
Metformin (Glucophage)
Coenzyme Q10
Vitamin B12
Folic Acid
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Amphotericin
Calcium
Magnesium
Potassium
Sodium
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Muscle weakness, memory loss, dehydration
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Hydroxyzine
(Atarax, Vistaril & others)
Melatonin
• Insomnia, increased cancer risk, increased free-radical aging damage
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Corticosteroids
Prednisone
Methylprednsisone (Medrol)
Trimcinolone (Aristocort)
Dexamethasone (Decadron)
Calcium
Vitamin D
Potassium
Magnesium
Zinc
Vitamin C
Vitamin B6
Folic Acid
Selenium
Chromium
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction
• Lowered immune system, easy bruising, poor wound healing
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increase cardiovascular disease risk
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
• Lowered immunity, reduced antioxidant protection
• Elevated blood sugar, Cholesterol & triglycerides, diabetes risk
Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
Folic Acid
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
Indomethacin (Indocin)
Folic Acid
Iron
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
• Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails
Other NSAIDS
Ibuprofen (Motrin)
Sulindac (Clinoril)
Mefenamic Acid (Ponstel)
Piroxicam (Feldene)
Salsalate (Disalcid)
Naproxen (Naprosyn)
and others
Folic Acid
• Birth defects, cervical dyplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
Aspirin and Salicylates
Vitamin C
Calcium
Folic Acid
Iron
Potassium
Sodium
Vitamin B5
• Lowered immune system, easy bruising, poor wound healing
• Osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
• Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Muscle weakness, memory loss, dehydration
• Fatigue, listlessness, possible problems with skin, liver, and nerves
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Levodopa
Potassium
SAMe
Vitamin B6
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Important for synthesis of many compounds and detoxification reactions
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Pentamidine
Magnesium
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Zidovudine
(Retrovir, AZT, and other related drugs)
Carnitine
Copper
Zinc
Vitamin B12
• Increased blood lipids, abnormal liver function and glucose control
• Anemia, fatigue, cardiovascular and connective tissue problems
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfunction
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
Foscarnet
Calcium
Magnesium
Potassium
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Diazepam (Valium)
Alprazolam (Xanax)
Melatonin
• Insomnia, increased cancer risk, increased free-radical aging damage
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Theophylline-containg drugs
Vitamin B6
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
Beta 2, Adrenergic Agonists, Albuterol (Airet, Proventil, Ventolin, Volmax)
Terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl)
Potassium
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Chemotherapy
Many nutrients can be depleted
• Multiple problems can develop including inflammation or damage to cells lining the GI tract, disruption of beneficial bacteria, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and inhibition of detoxification mechanisms, which can lead to multiple nutrient depletions.
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Hydralazine-containing vasodilators
Vitamin B6
Coenzyme Q10
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
Loop Diuretics
Furosemide (Lasix)
Bumetanide (Bumex)
Ethacryni acid (Edecrin)
Calcium
Magnesium
Potassium
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Sodium
Zinc
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, toothe decay
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, edema
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Lowered immune system, easy bruising, poor wound healin
• Muscle weakness, dehydration, memory problems, loss of appetite
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfunction
Thiazide Diuretics
Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
Methyclothiazide (Enduron)
Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
Indapamide (Lozol)
Metolazone (Zaroxolyn)
Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
and others
Magnesium
Potassium
Zinc
Coenzyme Q10
Sodium
• Cardiovascular problems. astma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste and sexual dysfunction
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
• Muscle weakness, dehydration, memory problems, loss of appetite
Potassium-sparing Diuretics
Dyazide, Maxxzide, Triamterene (Dyrenium)
Calcium
Folic Acid
Zinc
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfuction
Centrally Acting Antihypertensives
Clonidine (Catapres)
Methyldopa (Aldomet)
Coenzyme Q10
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
ACE Inhibitors
Captopril (Capoten)
Enalapril (Vasotec)
Fosinopril (Monopril)
Lisinopril (Prinovil)
Quinopril (Accupril)
Ramipril (Altace)
Trandolapril (Mavik)
Sodium
Zinc
• Muscle weakness, dehydration, memory problems, loss of appetite; sodium supplementation or replacement is not warranted unless advised by a physician
• Only documented in Captopril and Enalapril: Slow wound healing, loss of sense of smell/taste, lower immunity and sexual dysfunction
Cardiac Glycosides
Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Vitamin B1
Calcium
Magnesium
Phosphorus
• Depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, edema
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Weakness, low energy, skeletal problems
Beta-Blockers
Propranolol (Inderal),
Sotalol (Betapace),
Nadolol (Corgard),
Atenolol (Tenormin),
Acebutolol (Sectral),
Metopolol (Lopressor),
Timolo (Blocadren),
and others
Coenzyme Q10
Melatonin
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
• Insomia, increased cancer risk, increased free-radical aging damage
Calcium Channel Blockers
Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
Verapamil (Calan, Covera, -HS, Isoptin, Verelan)
Potassium
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Lovostatin (Mevacor)
Simvastation (Zorcor)
Cerivastatin (Baycol)
Fluvastatin (Lescol)
Pravastatin (Pravachol)
Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Coenzyme Q10
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
Coenzyme Q10
Vitamin E
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
• Heart disease risk, weak immune system, increased free-radical damage
The "Fibrates"
Clofibrate (Atromid-S)
Fenofibrate (TriCor)
Copper
Vitamin B12
Vitamin E
Zinc
• Anemia, fatigue, elevated cholesterol, connective tissue problems
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Heart disease risk, weak immune system, increased free-radical damage
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfuntion
Bile Acid Sequestrants
Cholestramine (Questran)
Colestipol (Colestid)
Vitamins A, D, E, K,
B12, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Fat, Folic Acid, Phosphorus,
Vitamins A, D, E, B12, Beta-Carotene, Folic Acid, Iron
• Proceed to individual nutrient monographs
• Proceed to individual nutrient monographs
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Potassium Chloride (Timed Release) Micro-K, Slow-K
Vitamin B12
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Estrogen Replacement (ERT) & Hormone Replacement (HRT)
Vitamin B6
Magnesium
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
Oral Contraceptives
Folic Acid
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6
Viamin B12
Vitamin C
Magnesium
Selenium
Zinc
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
• Depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, edema
• Problems with skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and nerves
• Cracked, scaly skin; swollen tongue; diarrhea
• Depression, sleep disturbances, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Lowered immune system, easy bruising, poor wound healing
• Cardiovascular problems, astma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection
• Weak immunity, wound healing sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfunction
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Colchicine, Col-benemid
Vitamin B12
Calcium
Sodium
Phosphorus
Potassium
Beta-carotene
• Anemia, tiredness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Muscle weakness, dehydration, loss of appetite, poor concentration
• Weakness, low energy, skeletal problems
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
• Lowered immunity, reduced antioxidant protection
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Mineral oil
Agoral, Haley's M-O
Vitamins A, D, E, K, and Beta-carotene
Calcium
Phosphorus
• Multiple problems associated with depletion of fat-soluble nutrients
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Weakness, low energy, skeletal problems
Sodium Phosphate Enema
Fleet enema
Calcium
Magnesium
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
Bisacodyl
Bisac-Evac, Bisacodyl, Unisers, Bisco-Lax, Carter's Little Pilss, Clysodrast, Dacodyl, Deficol, Dulcolax, Feen-A-Mint, Fleet laxative
Potassium
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Tricyclic Antidepressnats
Amitriptyline (Elavil)
Desipramine (Norpramin)
Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor) Doxepin,
(Sinequan), Imipramine (Tofranil)
and others
Coenzyme Q10
Vitamin B2
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy
• Problems with skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and nerves
Major Tranquilizers
Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
Thioridazine (Mellaril)
Fluphenazine (Permitil,
Prolixin) Mesoridazine
(Serentil, and others)
Coenzyme Q10
Vitamin B2
Melatonin
• Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energ
• Problems with skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and nerves
• Insomnia, increased cancer risk, increased free-radical aging damage
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Phenelzine (Nardil)
Vitamin B6
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
Haloperidol (Haldol)
Melatonin
Vitamin E
• Insomnia, increased cancer risk, increased free-radical aging damage
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
Lithium
Eskalith, Lithoid, Lithonate, Lithotabs
Inositol
• Excessive urination and excessive thirst
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Stanozolol (Winstrol)
Iron
• Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and others)
Iron
• Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
H-2 Receptor Antagonists
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Famotidine (Pepcid)
Nizatidine (Axid)
Ranitidine (Zantac)
Vitamin B12
Folic Acid
Vitamin D
Calcium
Iron
Zinc
Protein
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
• Osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of taste/smell, and sexual dysfunction
• Potential amino acid deficiencies
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
Omeprazole (Prilosec)
Vitamin B12
Protein
• Anemia, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Potential amino acid deficiencies
Drug
Nutrient Losses
Potential Health Problems
Methotrexate
Folic Acid
• Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease
Penicillamine
Vitamin B6
Magnesium
Copper
Zinc
• Depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk
• Cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS
• Anemia, fatigue, elevated cholesterol, connective tissue problems
• Weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, and sexual dysfunction
EDTA
Calcium
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
Ritodrine
Calcium
Potassium
• Osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay
• Irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, fatigue, edema

Sources:

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