How many different vitamins can I take safely and effectively?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by swiss, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. swiss

    swiss New Member

    I currently seem to take a lot of pills most of which are vitamins. I take b-100 complex, magnesium and malic acid, iron, folic acid, vit. C, NADH, evening of primrose, Co Q-10 and grape seed extract. (Also elavil, effexor and spironolactone meds)I take about 50 individual pills a day! Is this normal? Where can I get help and info about this combination? Also wondering what kinds of conctions other people are on.
  2. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    I can't help you but I was just wondering about this today. I don't take as many as you take, but I had to get a huge med minder thing to keep it straight what pills I need to take when. Well, this morning I skipped breakfast (not a normal thing), so when I had dinner, I had to take all of the morning pills with all of the noon pills, so I swallowed quite a few pills--Cymbalta, magnesium, CoQ10, ginkgo, ALA, and garlic. Ugh.

    After I swallowed them, i sat there eating and wondering--I have a stomach full of pills and food--can my body digest all of them? Did I just waste some of them? Is it harder on my body to take all of these at once?

    So, I'll be following the thread.
  3. Wasabi

    Wasabi New Member

    My doctor recommends it to his FMS/CFS patients. I think it comes in a powder form that you mix into a drink once a day. The recommendation is to take this vitamin mix plus a B-complex. My doctor says it beats having to swallow so many pills. I would take it myself, but it has whey in it (I'm lactose intolerant). As such, I'm taking about 30 pills a day. If you're interested, if you click on my profile, you can see a list of everything I'm taking right now.
  4. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    Dear Swiss,

    Like you I am taking lots of tablets. Over the last 10 years the number I have taken has gone up and down, depending on medical advice and my determination to find something that works. It does get sooooo depressing putting out the daily pile of pills, doesn't it?

    I go to a whiz-bang doctor every six months who looks through my list and recommends alterations. He is expensive but he is worth the hour he spends with me, looking through recent pathology test results, symptoms, medication etc. He is not a specialist in CFS/FM however, but he does have a lot of patients who have it. An hour consultation - wonderful. He is med. doctor, naturopath, chinese herbalist etc. so he is able to understand all the different approaches and whether they compliment one another or not. He does believe that more is NOT better - but that is in my case as I have absorption problems. Apparently, more can put real stress on the system.

    One thing I have learnt, however, is that, even more important than what tablets you take,is how much of what you take is being absorbed. My doctor did a test and discovered that my absorption rate was so low that much of what I was taking was, to put it politely, passing in one end and out the other.

    It might be an idea to have a similar test so that you are not paying for stuff you are not getting any benefit from?
  5. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Here is some info that I've compiled (ongoing work) to avoid interactions, etc. Maybe this will help you with avoiding problems between the meds and supplements:

    Introduction – A Fact

    It is estimated that about 15 million people who take herbal remedies may be at risk for potential adverse interactions between their prescription medications and the herbal products. More alarming is that up to 70% of users of herbal remedies do not disclose their use of herbal remedies to their doctors.

    Anabolic steroids, amiodarone, methotrexate, and ketoconazole

    · Enchinacea taken more than 8 weeks may damage the liver, and if combined with the drugs above, the risk of liver damage may be increased.
    · Licorice may increase the risk of an abnormal heart rhythm
    Anticoagulants/ Antiplatelets - (warfarin, ASA)
    · Ginkgo, case reports of increased bleeding
    · Ginger, garlic, feverfew increased bleeding potential
    · Ginseng, decrease in warfarin effectiveness
    · Chamomile, may increase risk of bleeding
    · Feverfew may increase the risk of bleeding
    · Garlic may increase the risk of bleeding
    · Ginger may increase the risk of bleeding
    · Goldenseal may oppose the effects of anticoagulants and may increase the risk of blood clots
    Anticonvulsants - [phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital]
    · Shankhapushpi - decreased plasma levels of phenytoin
    · Kava kava, valerian decreased plasma levels of phenytoin
    · Herbs with sedative components could be additive to sedative properties of phenobarbital and phenytoin
    · THUJONES and VITAMIN B6, may lower seizure threshold
    · WORMWOOD, an appetite stimulant, which may potentiate phenobarbital effects
    · EVENING PRIMROSE OIL contains GLA, which may lower seizure threshold
    · Ginkgo may reduce the effectiveness of anticonvulsants in preventing seizures

    · St. John's wort May bind to brain MAO receptors, making interactions with antidepressants unpredictable
    · Ginseng case reports of euphoria and CNS stimulation between MAO inhibitors and ginseng; Ginseng can cause headache, tremors, and manic episodes if taken with a MAO inhibitor
    · Ma huang (ephedra) potential for severe hypertension with MAO inhibitors
    · Ginkgo may intensify the effects of these drugs and increase the risk of side effects, such as headache, tremors, and manic episodes
    · NIACIN, MAGNESIUM and CALCIUM may enhance the effect of anti-hypertensive drugs, causing low blood pressure and lightheadedness
    · GRAPEFRUIT JUICE may also enhance many drugs' effects by reducing their breakdown
    · Licorice may increase salt and water retention and increase blood pressure, making antihypertensives ineffective
    Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS)
    · Avoid herbal medicinals with known adverse gastrointestinal effects such as GOSSYPOL, COFFEE ARABICA, COLA, and UVA-URSI. (ESP. AVOID ALCOHOL!)
    · Reduces the effectiveness of feverfew in preventing and managing migraine headaches
    · Ginseng may increase the risk of bleeding
    · Evening primrose oil, borage oil possible exacerbation of temporal lobe epilepsy
    · St John’s wort may reduce the effectiveness of benzodiazepines with may cause increased anxiety, drowsiness, and side effects
    Barbiturates (Phenobarbital) and other sedatives
    · Chamomile may intensify or prolong effects of sedatives

    Corticosteroids (Prednisone, Cortisone)
    · Using with immunostimulating herbal remedies such as ASTRAGALUS, ECHINACEA, LICORICE ROOT, ALFALFA SPROUTS, and ZINC LOZENGES may offset the immunosuppressive effects
    · Ginseng may intensify the side effects of cortiocosteroids
    Cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
    · GRAPEFRUIT JUICE may cause increased cyclosporine levels.
    · ST. JOHN'S WORT may decrease levels and cause rejection of organ transplant
    Digoxin (Lanoxin)

    · Licorice increases urine formation and can result in low levels of potassium, which is excreted in urine. When licorice is taken with digoxin, the low potassium levels increase the risk of digoxin toxicity
    · PSYLLIUM fiber, which decreases digoxin absorption, within two hours of taking medication.
    · Quinine, which may increase digoxin levels. (Quinine is found in tonic water.)
    · Internal consumption of ALOE VERA, which may irritate the large intestine and exert a strong purgative effect, leading to a decrease in serum potassium levels and Potentiation of cardiac glycosides)
    · Licorice mineralocorticoid activity may contribute to potassium depletion
    · Hawthorn, figwort, mistletoe cardioactive properties may potentiate effects of drug
    · Siberian ginseng reported to elevate digoxin levels
    · St. John’s wort may reduce blood levels of digoxin, making it less effective, with potentially dangerous results
    Diuretics (Acetazolamide, Thiazides)
    · ARTICHOKE, GOLDENSEAL, CELERY SEEDS, and DANDELION - have diuretic-like effect
    · Licorice may intensify the effects of most diuretics, causing increased, rapid loss of potassium; interferes with the effectiveness of potassium-sparing diuretics
    Estrogen Replacement Therapy
    · Ginseng may intensify the side effects of estrogen replacement therapy
    · Saw palmetto may intensify the effects of estrogen replacement therapy
    Hypoglycemic Agents (Glucotrol, Glucophage, DiaBeta, Insulin)
    · BUTCHER'S BROOM, BUCHU, DANDELION, and JUNIPER, which are diuretics, which may compromise hypoglycemic effects.
    · Herbs containing hyper or hypoglycemic components may compromise or enhance hypoglycemic effects. (CHROMIUM, VANADIUM, MAGNESIUM, GYMNEMA SYLVESTRI, MSM and the herb KARELA may actually improve glucose tolerance, so they may reduce the need for medication.)
    · Garlic may intensify the effects of these drugs causing an excessive decrease in blood sugar levels
    · Ginseng may intensify the effects of these drugs causing an excessive decrease in blood sugar levels
    · Milk thistle may intensify the effects of these drugs
    Immuno- Suppressive Agents (corticosteroids and clyclosporine)
    · Echinacea Can potentially counteract effect of drug
    · Chamomile by reduce iron absorption
    · Feverfew may reduce iron absorption
    · St. John’s wort may reduce iron absorption
    Opioids (Narcotics) include: morphine, codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin), propoxyphene (Darvon), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and meperidine (Demerol) - some of these opioid drugs are used to relieve severe diarrhea (Lomotil, for example, which is diphenoxylate) or severe coughs (codeine).

    Typically, opioids shouldn't be used with substances such as alcohol, antihistamines, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines. These drugs are CNS depressants and slow down brain function (and breathing). Combining opiods with CNS depressants could risk life-threatening respiratory depression.

    § Sedative herbal supplements such as valerian, kava, and chamomile may lead to increased central nervous system depression if used with opioids. Ginseng may inhibit the analgesic effect of opioids.
    § Ginseng may reduce the effectiveness of opioids

    Specialty Drugs

    Drugs used to manage migraine headaches (such as ergotamine)

    · Feverfew may increase heart rate and blood pressure

    Saquinavir (used to treat HIV infections)

    · Garlic decreases blood levels of Saquinavir, making it less effective
    · Milk thistle decreases blood levels of this drug, making it less effective

    Indinavir (a drug used to treat AIDS)

    · St. John’s wort may reduce blood levels of indinavir, making it less effective
    Photosensitizing drugs (lansoprazole, omeprazole, piroxicam, and sulfonamide antibiotics)
    · St. John’s wort may increase the risk of sun sensitivity
    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as fluoxetine, Paroxetine, and Sertraline)
    · St. John’s wort may intensify the effects of these drugs
    Implications of Taking Herbal Remedies and Pending Surgery

    · Valerian may prolong sedation time
    · BUTCHER'S BROOM, BOCHU, DANDELION and JUNIPER, which are diuretics, which may enhance the effect of lithium and cause possible toxicity
    Thyroid Medication (Synthroid)
    § HORSERADISH may depress thyroid function. KELP contains iodine, which may result in excess thyroid levels when taken with thyroid replacement medications

    Preparation for Surgery

    Prepare for surgery - Stop taking herbs at least 2 to 3 weeks before surgery. Tell your anesthesiologist before surgery about the herbs you take.

    [Example: prior to surgery the anesthesiologist might consider whether or not to proceed with a regional anesthetic that may cause increased bleeding due to a patient's use of a specific herbal medicine (eg, garlic or ginseng).]

    To Discuss With Your Doctor:
    o If you taking an herbal product, herbal supplement or other "natural remedy" and if so, let the doctor know if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medications for the same purpose as the herbal product.
    o If you've used this herbal product before.
    o If you are allergic to any plant products.
    o If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

    The combination of garlic in oil can produce a food poisoning situation.

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