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A depletion of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals is usually considered the result of poor diet, high levels of stress, environmental pollution, and certain diseases. However recently, scientific studies have shown that certain medications can also cause nutrient depletion.

Drug-induced nutrient depletion can become a serious problem – especially when you consider that 12 of the top 20 most frequently used prescription drugs have been shown to cause nutrient depletion. These include common drugs such as birth control pills, antibiotics, and antidepressants as well as medications used to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Sometimes the effects of nutrient depletion are treated with another medication, which can cause its own further problems. Nutrient supplements can be used to help avoid this cascading effect.

Speak to your Rexall™ pharmacist about a FREE consultation that helps identify potential nutrient deficiencies your medications may be causing.

Here are some of the most common conditions requiring medications that could cause nutrient depletion, as well as some options you should talk to your Rexall Pharmacist about:

  • Heart Disease, Parkinson's Disease
  • Birth Control (Use of Oral Contraceptives)
  • Infection, Diarrhea
  • Ulcer
  • Epilepsy

Condition: Heart Disease, Parkinson's Disease
Medication Examples: Lipitor, Levodopa, Mirapex
Recommendation: Coenzyme Q10

In some countries like Japan, heart disease is treated with prescription drugs as well as with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an essential chemical in our cells that decreases as we age.

Some people with heart disease have lower amounts of it and studies show that it's also depleted in people with Parkinson's disease.

CoQ10 is a safe and well-tolerated supplement. It produces minimal and infrequent side effects (which may include loss of appetite, diarrhea, or nausea).

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take CoQ10, since more studies are required to determine its safety for them.

Ask your Rexall™ pharmacist for more details and to recommend a suitable dose for you to take.

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Condition: Birth Control (Use of Contraceptives)
Medication Examples: Alesse, Trycyclen, Evr
a Recommendation: Daily Multivitamin

Even if you're eating properly, birth control pills can deplete folic acid and other important vitamins and minerals from your body.

Loss of certain vitamins in women who take birth control pills has led to problems such as abnormal cells in the cervix. It may also increase the risk of depression, anxiety and a lower sex drive.

If you're taking birth control pills, you should take a high-quality multivitamin every day. You may also require additional supplements. Please speak with your Rexall™ pharmacist today so you can reduce health risks caused by nutrient deficiency.

Before you stop taking birth control pills, be sure to talk to your family doctor or Rexall pharmacist.

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Condition: Infections, Diarrhea
Medication Examples: Penicillin, Amoxicillin
Recommendation: Probiotics

Antibiotic prescription medications are designed to remove the "bad" bacteria that cause infection, but a side effect of that is that they also remove the "good" bacteria. With less "good" bacteria there's an increased risk of diarrhea, bloating and, for women, vaginal yeast infections.

To help prevent and treat these side effects, your Rexall pharmacist can recommend a natural, safe and effective supplement called a probiotic.

Probiotics are made up of a blend of "good" bacteria that are normally present in your body. These "good" bacteria prevent "bad" bacteria from growing and causing infection and disease. Probiotics also help with digestion, produce some vitamins, and help break down the cholesterol in your food.

Probiotic supplements have to be taken at the right time of day because your antibiotic medication can destroy probiotics as well. Talk with your Rexall pharmacist to determine when you should take your antibiotic medicine and when you should take your probiotic supplement.

If you do have diarrhea it's important that you don't try to treat it with any pink bismuth liquid (e.g. Pepto-Bismol®) or diarrhea tablets before speaking with your family doctor or Rexall pharmacist.

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Condition: Ulcers
Medication Examples: Nexium, Losec, Zantac
Recommendation: Daily Multivitamin

Anti-ulcer medications may lead to depletion of certain vitamins and minerals. These drugs work by lowering the amount of stomach acid, which can relieve the pain associated with heartburn, acid indigestion, and ulcers. However, stomach acid is important to help with the absorption of many nutrients.

There are 2 kinds of medication normally used to treat ulcers:

  • 1) H-2 receptor antagonists that include:
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • ranitidine (Zantac)
  • famotidine (Pepcid)
  • nizatadine (Axid)

These medications may deplete vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and zinc.

  • 2) Proton pump inhibitors that include:
  • omeprazole (Losec)
  • lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • pantoprazole (Pantaloc)
  • rabeprazole (Pariet)

These medications may deplete vitamin B12.

The depletion of these nutrients can have the following effects:

  1. B12: anemia, tiredness, weakness, and increased cardiovascular disease risk
  2. Folic acid: birth defects, cervical dysplasia (abnormal cell growth on the surface of the cervix), anemia, and cardiovascular disease
  3. Vitamin D: skeletal problems such as osteoporosis, muscle weakness, tooth decay, and hearing loss
  4. Calcium: osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, and tooth decay.
  5. Iron: hair loss, brittle nails, and anemia, with accompanying feelings of weakness, fatigue, and low energy
  6. Zinc: slow wound healing, loss of sense of smell and taste, and lower immunity Nutritional supplements can help prevent or overcome medication-induced nutrient depletion. In many cases, this can increase the effectiveness of a medication, reduce side effects, and contribute to a longer, healthier life. So talk to your family doctor or Rexall pharmacist to determine what nutritional supplements you can take to offset the depletion.

Condition: Epilepsy
Medication Examples: Dilantin, Tegretol, Epival
Recommendation: Daily Multivitamin

Because of the way your body processes some anti-epileptic medications, some of them may lead to depletion of certain vitamins and minerals:

  • Phenobarbital can deplete vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin, and calcium
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin) can deplete vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin B12, vitamin B1, folic acid, biotin, and calcium
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol) can deplete vitamin D, folic acid, and biotin
  • Primidone (Mysoline) can deplete vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin, and calcium
  • Valproic acid (Depakene) can deplete folic acid, carnitine, copper, selenium, and zinc

These depletions can have the following effects:

  1. Vitamin D: osteoporosis, hearing loss, and muscle weakness
  2. Calcium: osteoporosis, hear/blood pressure irregularities, and tooth decay
  3. Folic acid: birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, and cardiovascular disease
  4. Vitamin K: blood coagulation and skeletal problems
  5. Biotin: hair loss, depression, cardiac irregularities, and dermatitis
  6. Vitamin B12: anemia, tiredness, weakness, and increased cardiovascular disease risk
  7. Vitamin B1: depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, and edema
  8. Carnitine: muscle weakness, cramps, and fatigue

Nutritional supplements can help prevent or overcome medication-induced nutrient depletion. In many cases, this can increase the effectiveness of a medication, reduce side effects, and contribute to a longer, healthier life.

So talk to your family doctor or Rexall Pharmacist to determine what nutritional supplements you can take to offset the depletion.

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