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Co-Prescribing: Can you take supplements with your medications?

Co-Prescribing: Can you take supplements with your medications? | Mr Vitamins

Find out more in Natural Medicine Week with a free 20 minute Supplement & Medication Review

Mr Vitamins staff are asked on a daily basis whether nutritional supplements can be taken with pharmaceutical medications (co-prescribing) Sometimes the answer is simple but more often we need to look further into the interactions of the particular medications. Many of the medications have contra-indications (a reason why a supplement cannot be taken at the same time).

Vitamins and supplements are a growing trendMultivitamins & co-prescribing

Did you know that approximately 59% of the population are using pharmaceutical medications and 66% take nutritional/complementary medicines? There is no doubt that pharmaceuticals play an integral role for an individual’s health. But they are not always a complete solution. Many pharmaceuticals deplete nutrients or cause side effects with long term or short term use. It is possible to improve the expected health outcomes by improving the efficacy and reducing the side effects associated with the medications.

What is Co-Prescribing?

Co-prescribing is simply the recommendation of nutritional supplements alongside pharmaceutical medications by recognising when it is safe to do so. The aim is to encourage better health outcomes by improving the efficacy of the medications and to reduce any harm that is associated with their use. Depending of the medications being taken it is often recommended for the prescribing doctor to be advised of the nutritional supplements being recommended.

What are the benefits of co-prescribing?

  • Potential to improve clinical results
  • May be a possibility of reducing drug dose
  • Prevent of reduce side effects of drugs
  • Understanding the best time to take the nutritional supplements to improve absorption, to avoid interaction and improve outcomes.
  • Reduce the risk of becoming nutritionally deficient.

What needs to be taken into consideration with co-prescribing?

  • Care taken not to reduce the therapeutic action of the drug
  • Not to increase the therapeutic action of the drug
  • Not to cause drug toxicity

What nutrients can be depleted by medications?Hand with pills co-prescribing

This list is extensive and should be further discussed face-to-face to find out why the medications are being taken. Some of the nutrients commonly depleted are:
  • Calcium by proton pump inhibitors
  • B groups vitamins by anti-biotics, hormone replacement therapy and drugs used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions
  • Change of gut flora by anti-biotics
  • Minerals by anti-hypertensives
  • CoQ10 by hypoglycaemics, cholesterol lowering drugs and beta blockers

What is safe to take alongside pharmaceuticals?

Usually nutritional supplements can be can be used safely with pharmaceutical medications. Of greatest concern for some of our staff is when we ask a customer why they are taking a supplement only to find out that it is contra-indicated with the pharmaceuticals they are taking and that there is potential for harmful effects. It is not uncommon that people have been advised by a “friend”, or they found information on the internet, or they simply decided not to let the people selling the nutrients know that they were taking pharmaceuticals because they didn’t want to be told they couldn’t. It can be difficult to assess this with a five minute discussion in the Vitamin shop. A Clinic consultation with a naturopath, nutritionist is often advised. Ultimately, the outcome of co-prescribing is to improve overall wellbeing over an extended period of time.

What else can you do to maintain wellness while taking pharmaceuticals?

As with general wellbeing the importance of a health lifestyle, including a healthy diet, exercise, relaxation alongside with nutritional supplements to support an individual’s needs is the core requirement for reaching one’s best health potential.

Find out more about Co-Prescribing

If you would like the chance for more information on co-prescribing during our Natural Medicine Week open day, you can book and appointment with a Mr Vitamins Natural Health Practitioner who will take you through the steps for efficient and beneficial co-prescribing…….

  This free offer is only available on Friday 27th May (this service is usually  has a cost involved)

Book in here to find to make the most of the opportunity to find out more…….

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