(587) 805-1520

The Complication of Drugs – Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion

SMS for information (587) 805-1520

The Complication of Drugs

Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion

By Pauline Rai, R.HOM, DiHOM Homeopath. FLT- HCP


In the television advertisements that pharmaceutical companies use to promote new drugs, there will usually be a disclaimer near the end. These disclaimers take the form of common side effects associated with their particular medication. The promise to halt disease may have associated risks and it is unfortunate that a prescription does not include the nutrients required to offset the side effects that we are going to be exposed to with prolonged use.

If only we had an integrated health care system that could help control and mitigate disease without causing further complications. Though Medication is an integral part of managing disease, supplements should be considered as an adjunct therapy to offset the side effects or complications of drug induced nutrient depletion.

Medication has the effect of creating a toxic overload which disrupts absorption of key nutrients required for the body to maintain homeostasis, and proper signaling. This creates imbalances and biochemical changes that can lead to further health complications.

Acid blockers for heartburn, GERD
Antacid users are altering the absorption of protein, fats and carbohydrates. When stomach acid is neutralized, digestion is impaired. Consider taking a digestive enzyme, a pro-biotic and a multivitamin with a high orac value as maintenance.

Statin drugs, high blood pressure, cholesterol lowering drugs  
These types of drugs will deplete the natural production of CoQ10 enzyme which is required for the production of mitochondrial energy within a cell. A depletion of CoQ10 can result in muscle fatigue, pain or heart failure. CoQ10 is good for heart heath, blood pressure and anti-aging and should be a part of the daily maintenance along with Magnesium, and Omega 10 while on any of these drugs.

Most doctors now routinely remind their patients to take a pro-biotic with their medication, as research indicates many benefits that replenish gut flora. 70 % of our immunity comes from our gut health. Certain classes of drugs also deplete nutrients such as the commonly prescribed antibiotic: Peniciilin for example, reduces potassium, B vitamins and K.

Diuretics and Laxatives
Individuals who take diuretics over the counter supplements to reduce water weight or prescription medication for high blood pressure are disturbing the balance of certain minerals such as zinc and calcium.

Diuretics increase urine output, a loss of water soluble vitamins, and electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium. Laxatives are used to reduce constipation but long term use can cause a deficiency of the fat soluble vitamins A D E K and electrolyte imbalances. In practice I prescribe herbulk for occasional constipation use and metafiber for long term along with a probiotic, a multivitamin with a high orac value and Omega Forte which contains vitamin A D E K, along with an electrolyte solution such as Endura.

Blood sugar meds
Such as metformin and Glyburide can reduce vitamin B12, magnesium, folic acid and CoQ10 levels. Consider taking a Calcium supplement which is required for Vit B12 absorption.

Those individuals taking anti-depressants are often low in B vitamins to begin with which helps to reduce the stress response. Vitamin B12 and folate are critical for production of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. Taking anti- depressants reduces the availability of these key nutrients. Additionally, Omega 3 with a high DHA value is beneficial to help reduce brain fog that comes with taking these classes of drugs.

This drug is found in our food and beverages as well as pre-work outs. Caffeine interferes with the absorption of magnesium, a critical nutrient for many different functions. Athletes or body builders who take magnesium to reduce muscle fatigue are flushing it out of their body with the caffeine that creates the action of a diuretic.


Nutrients are vital for the activation of co-enzymes, pre-cursor activity, synthesis and homeostasis for proper balance and function but they don’t get much recognition in disease management or prevention. Management of Disease or illness should not only include arresting the development of the disease but also reduce further complications of drug induced nutrient depletion. Lab work for Nutrient Deficiency can be booked through my office.For further information contact us by email – info@firstlinenutrition.ca, with a subject heading: “Nutrient Deficiency Test” and an information sheet will be sent out regarding testing.

About Firstline Nutrition

Health practitioners who have years of experience in the natural medicine field. We provide health supplements and vitamins to support healthy living. Our articles are researched and talk about the products we carry.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Any newsletter subscription can be cancelled with a one-click unsubscribe button included at the bottom of all emails.