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When you take prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications, do you take also a vitamin, mineral, or other dietary supplements? Have you considered whether there is any danger in mixing medications and dietary supplements?

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Adam Hebrew

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  • There are always possible interactions when you take prescription drugs with supplements.

    I take my medications many hours away from taking minerals and vitamins.

  • As a rule, I was told to check with them before taking anything. Anything from herbs is always a risk so things like st johns, ginseng, etc are all no-no's. That's because they either push your blood drug levels up or down thus putting you at either risk of infection or rejection.

    As for the usual things like vitamins and minerals, it's usually the 2 and 1 rule. Take them at least 2 hours before your meds or at least 1 hour after your meds. This minimizes the risk of interactions. It's very important because simple things like calcium and iron, both of which transplant patients are often given, affect anti-rejection medication absorption.

  • Multi Vitamin, Magnesium 400mg BID, 10,000 mcg Biotin (hair), Vitamin D3.

    I supplement with Protein/Antioxidant shakes.

    Food is something I am very mindful of so there are things to avoid obviously by having a low K diet, high Protein diet.  I also eliminated added/refined sugar as Prednisone made me diabetic (gone in 3 months of diet change)

    And no grapefruit.  Data supports it's interaction with drugs like Tacrolimus.  Being mindful of organic and raw foods.

  • My tx team specifically told me to take a good OTC multivitamin, and they also told me to take a calcium supplement with vitamin D.

    The immunosuppressants tend to leach magnesium from the body, so I have made sure that the multivitamin I take has that mineral.

    Actually, to be specific, I take USANA "core essentials" that are comprised of one anti-oxidant capsule and one multi-mineral capsule, which includes magnesium.  I take those twice a day.

    Dietary supplements must NOT be taken with immunosuppressants; one should wait at least 2 hours after taking immunosuppressants before taking any kind of dietary supplement.

    This program must be working for me because I've been doing it for over 5 years, and my labs are good.

    I hope this helps.

    Oh, as kidneyboy has said, I'd NEVER take anything before consulting my tx team.  Fortunately, they gave me a list of OTC meds that are safe to take to alleviate all sorts of maladies, so it is rare that I have to call them.

  • Certain combinations are counterindicated mostly from how these affect digestion and metabolism of the meds we take. Some examples are Green tea extracts, pomegranate extracts, and other concentrated formulas.  For more specific information, one should consult with your Tx team, before beginning any regime of supplements.

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