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Prescription drugs combined with vitamins/herbs

Posted by Sharon W on 5/21/03 at 10:49 (119505)

Prescription drugs may deplete, or use up, certain vitamins etc in your body. If you'd like to see a list of prescription drugs (including drugs for pain, cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) and what nutrients they deplete, click on the link below (I've included a couple of excertps:


Hydrocodone (codeine) with acetaminophen (Tylenol)- 'A narcotic/analgesic used for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. Depletes glutathione.'

'Note: Hydrocodone combined with aspirin depletes the following nutrients: folic acid, iron, potassium, sodium, Vit. C, glutathione. Oxycontin is also included here. Oxycontin is only different in that it is a timed-release drug.'

'Prednisone - oral (prednisone) - A corticosteroid used to treat inflammations. Depletes calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, selenium, Vit C, Vit D, zinc.'

Darvocet-N (propoxyphene with acetaminophen) - 'narcotic/analgesic combination prescribed for mild to moderate pain. Depletes glutathione.'

There are also prescription drugs that should not be taken together with certain herbs or other supplements. For info on that, check out this site (a couple of examples follow):



Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - Supplementation Possibly Helpful
St. John's Wort, SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine), Yohimbe, and 5-HTP - Possible Dangerous Interactions
St. John's Wort - Possible Harmful Interaction'

'[Drugs in the same family include]:

amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil)
amoxapine (Asendin)
clomipramine hydrochloride (Anafranil)
desipramine hydrochloride (Norpramin)
doxepin hydrochloride (Sinequan)
imipramine (Tofranil)
nortriptyline hydrochloride (Aventyl, Pamelor)
protriptyline hydrochloride (Vivactil)
trimipramine maleate (Surmontil)
and others'


'Tramadol is a unique non-narcotic and non-anti-inflammatory analgesic medication used for the treatment of moderate pain. It has many effects in the body, including some that relate to endorphins and others that involve serotonin.'

'St. John's Wort, 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine)

Possible Dangerous Interactions

There are two case reports that possibly implicate tramadol in serotonin syndrome.1,2 This syndrome is caused by excessive levels of serotonin, which bring about various dangerous side effects.

Since St. John's wort and 5-HTP might increase serotonin levels, and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) has reportedly caused serotonin syndrome, combining any of them with tramadol could be risky.'



Alternate Names

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Calcium and Vitamin D - Helpful Interactions
Topical Herbal Treatments - Possible Helpful Interactions
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) - Possible Positive Interaction
Chromium - Supplementation Possibly Helpful
Ipriflavone - Possible Harmful Interaction'

'Corticosteroid drugs (also known as glucocorticoids) act like the naturally occurring adrenal cortisone in the body. They are strong anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressant medications used in many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Corticosteroids are also prescribed to suppress transplant rejection.'

'Drugs in this family include

betamethasone (Celestone)
cortisone acetate (Cortone Acetate)
dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexameth, Dexone, Hexadrol)
hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone)
methylprednisolone (Medrol)
prednisolone (Delta-Cortef, Pediapred, Prelone)
prednisone (Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Panasol-S, Prednicen-M, Sterapred DS)
triamcinolone (Aristocort, Atolone, Kenacort)
and others'



Re: Prescription drugs combined with vitamins/herbs

Pam S. on 5/21/03 at 18:48 (119556)

Dear Sharon:
I have no business spending time on here but your posts are always so informative I cannot pass them up. Thank you for this GREAT info.

I was wondering how you are. I too may be interested in seeing this Dr. Dellon. I am leaving town in the morning to tend to my daughter. More later. ps. my feet are really burning but maybe i will be too busy to notice. Take care, Pam

ps. any advice for supplements to boost my daughter's immune systen during mono recovery. She is pretty sick Now she is on 60ms prednisone but not for long. THANKS

Re: Prescription drugs combined with vitamins/herbs

Sharon W on 5/21/03 at 19:36 (119563)


This info is all according to my book, Prescription for Herbal Healing,' by Phillis A. Bach, CNC.

'Mononucleosis... caused by the Epstein-Barr virus [EBV]... transmitted by salive, it is frequently referred to as 'kissing fever'... can also be airborne.'

...The infection usually begins slowly with fatigue, malaise, headache, and sore throat. A moderate to high fever develops. The sore throat becomes progressively worse, often enlarged tonsils covered with a whitish-yellow fibrous discharge. The lymph nodes in the neck are frequently enlarged and painful, and the spleen often becomes enlarged.'

'...The only compounds known to kill the virus are found in herbs.'

'Astralagus - tablets. Take as directed on the label. Boosts the immune system.

Gleditsiaq - tablets. Take as directed on the label. Contains saponins that kill EBV. Also called zao jiao.

Olive leaf - extract. Take as directed on the label. Helps inhibit the growth of viruses that cause diseases such as mononucleosis.

Scutellaria - tincture. Take 1 to 1 1/2 tsp (4-6 ml) 3 times daily. Contains balcalin, which kills EBV.'

Be sure your daughter gets lots of rest. And tell her not to drink any coffee, eat fried or processed foods, soft drinks, stimulants, sugar, tea, or white flour products; these depress immune system functioning.

Tell her to eat lots of protein-rich foods because protein is needed to stimulate the formation of antibodies that protect against complications like hepatitis and jaundice.

Be sure to have ice packs handy if she has swoollen lymph glands.

Take her immediately to the emergency room if she has sharp, SUDDEN pain in her upper left abdomen, because this could indicate a ruptured spleen which requires emergency surgery.

This disease can do permanent damage to her immune system, so aggressive treatment now, combined with lifelong attention to immune health and seeing her doctor regularly, are important.


Re: thank you , sharon

Pam S. on 5/21/03 at 19:52 (119567)

So many kids have this in college. They all seem to recover fine. She has been very run down and is a Type A personality.

I so agree with your advice about diet. That is exactly the diet I follow with my fibro. I hope I can get her to follow this. It is so hard when they are away from home. I think you know how it is.

I will have her see a nutrionist when she gets home for the summer.

Take care Pam

Re: thank you , sharon

Sharon W on 5/21/03 at 22:06 (119586)


Yes, it is not uncommon for college kids to get mono. And usually they get over it in about 10 days or so, although they tend to feel tired and kind of worn-out for a couple of months afterward.

I mentioned the ruptured spleen thing because I'm convinced it's important to know when it WOULD be time to push the panic button -- not because I think anything like that is likely to happen to your daughter! I'm sure she will benefit from all the TLC she's getting, and she'll recover from this illness without any major complications, as most kids do, and get on with her life...

Anyway, have a safe trip -- I didn't mean to worry you.


Re: thank you , sharon

Pam S. on 5/22/03 at 00:05 (119590)

I am still up trying to pay bills. Like this is my last day on earth.

You did not worry me, no problem. I respect your opinion very much from getting to know you here.

Sharon, I hope you are ok. I am thinking of you. We all seem to have our challenges personally and otherwise. Warmly, Pam

Re: thank you , sharon

Sharon W on 5/22/03 at 09:37 (119628)


I know what you mean about paying bills, etc. like it was your last day on earth! We are leaving this Saturday (the 24th) on a long car trip to Washington State to pick up the things that my sister left us in her will. And there are SO many things to be done first...!

I have college-aged daughters, myself (two of them) so I understand your concern. I know you'll take very good care of your daughter, and she'll be fine...


Re: Prescription drugs combined with vitamins/herbs

marie on 5/22/03 at 21:14 (119714)

Thank you Sharon,

I bookmarked those sights and look at them when I get a little more time. They look really interesting!!!!!! You always come up with such useful infrotmation.

Too bad Clay lost last night but I like Ruben just as much!!! Actually the top 4 were fabulous.


Re: Prescription drugs combined with vitamins/herbs

Sharon W on 5/22/03 at 21:45 (119719)

In fact, I really liked Trenice, too -- I think the top FIVE are all winners!


Re: Prescription drugs combined with vitamins/herbs

angelas on 5/23/03 at 23:41 (119793)

Thanks again Sharon.
An ortho. surgeon just prescribed Urtram 50mg up to 6 or 8 a day and I weigh 95 pounds. Plus I take other CNS meds. (I took half of one and that almost put me to sleep.)
Then my other doctor suggested I try Sam-e for energy. Not a good idea from what I read on your post.
I also went to http://www.medhelp.org and researched ultram which also said that most seritonin uptake inhibitors could cause that syndrome.
And there were a lot of posts about the problems of withdrawel and addiction!
The ortho. told my it was not addicting and that I should take it on a regular basis, not just when I felt the foot pain. My other doctor told me it was a class 4 narcotic and take only when I have to. Now I am scared to take it at all!
Just goes to show again that doctors need to learn a lot more about pain and how to treat it.

Re: For Angela

Sharon W on 5/24/03 at 00:44 (119795)


Don't be afraid to take Ultram when you're having a lot of pain. It might It is often combined with Neurontin, because they kind of help to offset each other's side effects. It might not be that great to be taking it every 4 hours around the clock - but as prescription pain killers go, Ultram is one of the LEAST addictive, and one of the most effective for nerve pain.

In fact, I've seen posts from people who said they were taking it once or twice a day for quite a while, and they didn't have any problems when they stopped taking it. Maybe they went from 2 to 1 first, then to 0, I don't know -- but the point is, they didn't go through a lot of anguish and they weren't out on the street looking for some pusher to sell them Ultram.


Re: For Angela

angelas on 5/25/03 at 21:57 (119917)

Okay, I feel better about taking it now. In fact I took it tonight again:)