Can Drugs Create Nutrient Deficiencies?

I often get asked if prescribed drugs can cause nutritional deficiencies, and the simple answer is yes.  It is widely known that drugs force physiology to do something that it is either incapable of doing or can't do for some other reason. 

This bullying of physiology is going to tax and strain other parts of your physiology which will imbalance your available nutrients.  Think of it like a robbing Peter to pay Paul balancing act. While it is sometimes necessary to take drugs to either save your life or balance things out in the short term, there is always some price to pay.

Now I am NOT telling you that you need to stop taking medication.  You need to consult the physician that prescribed the medication and be sure you do before starting a supplement regimen of these vitamins and minerals. 

However, I felt it was necessary to let you know the potential deficiencies these drug classes may cause along with the foods that may help increase those nutrients. 

Ephalosporin antibiotics: Cefprozil (Cefzil), Cefuroxime (Ceftin), Loracarbef (Lorabid) Macrolide antibiotics: Azithromycin (Zithromax), Clarithromycin (Biaxin), Erythromycin  Macrolide antibiotics: Azithromycin (Zithromax), Clarithromycin (Biaxin), Erythromycin Penicillin antibiotics: Amoxicillin, Penicillin Quinolone antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Gatifloxacin (Tequin), Levofloxacin (Levaquin), Lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), Moxifloxacin (Avelox), Norfloxacin (Noroxin), Ofloxacin (Floxin), Sparfloxacin (Zagam), Trofloxacin (Trovan) Sulfa Drug antibiotics: sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra) Vitamins B1, B2, B6, Friendly intestinal bacteria, Folic Acid, Niacin, B12, Vitamin K, Biotin, Inositol
Tetracycline antibiotics: Doxycycline ( Doryx, Periostat, Vibramycin), Minocycline (Minocin), Tetracycline (Achromycin, Sumycin) All The Above Plus: Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc
SSRI Antidepressants: Fluoxetine (Prozac) Melatonin
Tricyclic Antidepressants: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Amoxapine (Asendin), Clomipramine (Anafranil), Desipramine (Norpramin), Doxepin (Sinequan), Imipramine (Tofranil), Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), Protriptyline (Vivactil) Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B2
Corticosteroid drugs for inflammation: Beclomethasone (Beclovent, Vancenase, Vanceril), Budesonide (Pulmicort, Rhinocort), Dexamethasone (Decadron), Fluticasone (Flonase, Flovent), Hydrocortisone (Cortef), Mometasone (Nasonex), Prednisone (Deltasone, Meticorten), Triamcinolone (Azmacort, Nasacort) Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, Beta-Carotene, B6, Folic Acid ,B12, C, D, DHEA, Melatonin, Protein and Amino Acids
NSAID drugs for inflammation: Celecoxib (Celebrex), Diclofenac (Voltaren), Diflunisal (Dolobid), Etodolac (Lodine), Fenoprofen (Nalfon), Ibuprofen(Advil,Motrin,Nuprin), Indomethacin (Indocin), Naproxen (Aleve,Anaprox,Naprosyn), Oxaprozin (Daypro), Piroxicam (Feldene), Sulindac (Clinoril), Tolmetin (Tolectin) Folic Acid Iron, Melatonin, Zinc
Antiretroviral medication: Ribavirin, Zidovudine (Retrovir) Copper and Zinc
Asthma Medication: Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin) Potassium
Birth Control Medication: Numerous combinations of female hormones Magnesium, VitaminB2, VitaminB6, Folic Acid
Biguanides for diabetes: Metformin (Glucophage) Vitamin B12, Folic Acid
Sulfonyl urea for diabetes: Acetohexamide (Dymelor), Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), Glimepiride (Amaryl), Glipizide (Glucotrol), Glyburide (Micronase, Glynase, Diabeta), Tolazamide (Tolinase), Tolbutamide (Orinase) Coenzyme Q10
ACE Inhibitingmedication for high blood pressure: Benazepril (Lotensin), Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril ((Vasotec), Fosinopril (Monopril), Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), Moexipril (Univasc), Quinapril (Accupril), Ramipril (Altace), Trandolapril (Mavik) Special note: ACE Inhibitors can cause an increase in the level of the mineral Potassium Zinc
Alpha2-adrenergic agonist medication for high blood pressure: Clonidine (Catapres) Coenzyme Q10
Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist medication for high blood pressure: Candesartan (Atacand), Irbesartan (Avapro), Losartan (Cozaar), Olmesartan (Benicar), Telmisartan (Micardis), Valsartan (Diovan) Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Coenzyme Q10
Beta Blocker medication for high blood pressure:Acebutolol (Sectral), Atenolol (Tenormin), Betaxolol (Kerlone),Bisoprolol (Zebeta), Carvedilol (Coreg), Metoprolol (Lopressor,Toprol), Nadolol (Corgard), Propranolol (Inderal) Special note: Beta-Blocker drugs frequently cause a decrease in the level of protective HDL-cholesterol; although the drugs do not deplete Chromium, taking this mineral may off set the drop in HDL; 200 mcg of Chromium Picolinate is a suggested dosage. Coenzyme Q10, Melatonin
Vasodilating medication for high blood pressure: Hydralazine (Apresoline) Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, Vitamin B6
Cardiac Glycosidemedication for heart failure: Digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps) Special note: although Digoxin does not deplete the mineral Potassium, if you are low in Potassium while on this drug there is an increased risk of drug toxicity Magnesium, Vitamin B1, Calcium, Phosphorus
Bile Acid Sequestrants cholesterol lowering medication: Cholestyramine (Questran), Colestipol (Colestid) Beta-Carotene, Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamins B12, D, E, K
Fibric Acid cholesterol lowering medication: Gemfibrozil (Lopid) Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E
Loop diuretics: Bumetanide (Bumex), Ethacrynic Acid, Furosemide (Lasix) Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, B1, B6, C
Potassium-sparing diuretics: Amiloride (Midamor), Spironolactone (Aldactone), Triamterene (Dyrenium) Calcium. Folic Acid
Thiazide diuretics: Chlorothiazide (Diuril), Hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, Hydrodiuril, Oretic), Methyclothiazide(Aquatensen, Enduron), Metolazone (Zaroxolyn) Potassium, Zinc, Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium
Bisphosphonate bone-building medication: Alendronate (Fosamax) Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus
Histamine H2 antagonist ulcer medication: Cimetidine (Tagamet), Famotidine (Pepcid), Nizatidine (Axid) Calcium, Folic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Vitamins B12, Vitamin D
Proton Pump inhibiting ulcer medication: Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Omeprazole (Prilosec), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Pantoprazole (Protonix) Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Folic Acid, Vitamins B1, B12
Pain Relieving Medication Opiate Analgesics: Hydrocodone with APAP or acetaminophen Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, Glutathione

  Here is a list of foods that are high in some of these specific Vitamins and minerals:

B1-Sunflower Seed, Brazil Nuts, Pork B2-Liver, Organic Meats, Mushrooms Brewers Yeast, Eggs, Beef, Cottage Cheese, Chicken, Spinach, Ham, Pork B3- Salmon, Tuna, Chicken, Halibut, Liver, Beef, Organic Meats, Peanuts, Mushrooms
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)-Liver, Organic Meats, Eggs, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Beef, Haddock, Brewers Yeast B6- Liver, Beef, Cod, Yellowfin tuna Sunflower Seeds, Cashews, hazelnuts, Bell peppers, spinach, green peas, yams, broccoli, asparagus, turnip greens B12- Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef, Oysters, Salmon, Fish, Lamb, Fresh Sole Filet, Chicken Eggs
Folic Acid- Chicken Liver, Beef Liver, Asparagus, Lettuce, Spinach Vitamin K- Green Leafy Vegetable,  Egg Yolk, Safflower Oil, Blackstrap Molasses, Cauliflower Biotin- Egg Yolk, Liver, Brewer's Yeast, Sardines
Inositol- Citrus Fruits, Brewer's Yeast, Molasses, Meat, Nuts, Vegetables, Lecithin Co-Q10- Beef, Herring, Chicken, Rainbow trout, Sesame seeds, Pistachio,  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Orange, Strawberries, Eggs Vitamin C- Guava, Broccoli, Green Bell Peppers, Brussels Sprouts, Cantaloupe, Citrus Fruit, Strawberries, Cabbage, Watermelon
Calcium- Broccoli, Dark green leafy veg, Cheese, Molasses, Legumes, Almonds, Cottage Cheese, Brazil Nuts Iron-Prune Juice, Liver, Beef, Ham, Organic Meats, Chicken, Spinach, Eggs Magnesium- Green Leafy Veg., Legumes, Nuts, Pineapples, Egg Yolks
Zinc- Beef, Dark Chicken, Fish, Beef Liver, Tuna Choline- Egg Yolk, Organic Meats Vitamin E- Liver, Sunflower, Almonds, Spinach, Beet Greens, Pumpkin, Red Peppers, Asparagus, Collard Greens, Fish, Mango, Avocado
Phosphorus- Tuna, Sweetbreads, Beef Liver, Brazil Nuts, Beef Potassium- Cantaloupe, Sweet Potato, Avocado, Raisins, Banana, Halibut, Sole, Molasses, Ham, Mushrooms, Beef Vitamin A- Liver, Dark Green Leafy Veg, Cantaloupe, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Spinach,, Chard, Tomato, Eggs
Vitamin D- Cod liver oil, Swordfish, Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Liver, Egg yolk, Melatonin- Pineapples, Bananas, Oranges, Tomatoes, Barley Glutathione- sulfur-containing amino acids include raw eggs, garlic, onions and fresh, unprocessed meats. 

Hippocrates said let food be thy medicine.  While I can't promise that increasing this food will stop all potential side effects they may help mitigate some of them. I hope these charts help and that you can use them as a reference for your family. Information Resources: University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index, Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions Bible; Prima Publishing, The Side Effects Bible; Broadway Books, A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions; Prima Health, Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions; Eclectic Medical Publications, Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook; Lexi-Comp, TauMed Beta, PubMed Journals Derived from a PDF file given to me by Dr. Katri Porto

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