“Take your vitamins!”
Haven’t we all heard this advice from well-meaning friends and relatives, especially when we’re feeling under the weather? Or, wondered about the benefit to our senior loved ones as we watch those happy and active seniors in supplement ads, playing golf and enjoying life to the fullest?
Latest research, however, warns of the dangers associated with combining certain prescription medications with over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements. In some cases, these combinations can even be deadly, such as the interactions between blood pressure drugs and supplements such as omega-3 fish oil. According to Dr. Dima Qato, a University of Illinois assistant professor of pharmacy systems, “A medication or supplement may be safe and beneficial when you use it alone, but when you mix it with other medications or supplements, it can be very dangerous.”
It’s crucial to be vigilant about providing our healthcare providers with a list of all medications being taken, including any supplements, so that each physician is not only aware of, but has approved of, these combinations.