Medications and supplements

Potential interactions

It is thought that vitamins, minerals and herbs are safe and do not have any side effects. As more evidence is being gathered on the chemistry of nutritionals and herbals, it can be seen that they affect the way some prescription medications work. This is known as a nutrient-drug interaction or herb-drug interaction.

These interactions can enhance the effect of a drug or can encourage excretion of a drug and reduce its effectiveness. Both ways could have potential dangerous consequences if not identified. An example may include the ocp ( oral contraceptive pill) or warfrin ( blood thinning medication).

To avoid these interactions it is important to be honest with your health care professional. It is also important to see a qualified nutritional medicine practitioner, qualified naturopath or complementary health practitioner who will ensure these potential interactions are avoided. Remember, make sure to let your health professional know all your medications, supplements and the doses you take when you go in for your appointment. Always be sure to let them know if there are any changes to your prescriptions so potential interactions can be minimised.

Note: Medications also affect nutrient absorption and you may want to ask your nutritional medicine practitioner how you can make sure you are getting enough nutrients whilst taking medications.