Do the Prescriptions You Take Deplete Your Nutritional Status?

Drugs that deplete B Vitamins (major cofactors in many metabolic pathways, especially the brain)

Pain Relievers

Generic name:  Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid).  Brand Names:  Pure aspirin is sold under numerous brand names, including many private store labels.  Percodan and Empirin are combination aspirin and codeine products.


Generic name:  Trimethoprim: antibiotic frequently prescribed for chronic urinary tract infections.  Brand Names:  Bactrim, Septra

Antacid and Stomach Acid Suppressors

Generic name:  Cimetidine.  Brand Names:  Tagamet
Generic name:  Famotidine.  Brand Names:  Pepcid
Generic name:  Ranitidine.  Brand Names:  Zantac, Zantac 75
Generic name:  Lansoprazole.  Brand Names:  Prevacid
Generic name:  Nizatidine.  Brand Names:  Axid
Generic name:  Omeprazole.  Brand Names:  Prilosec

Antidiabetic Drugs

Generic name:  Metformin.  Brand Names:  Glucophage

Asthma Drugs

Generic name:  Beclomethasone (oral inhaler).  Brand Name:  Vanceril
Generic name:  Budesonide (oral inhaler).  Brand Name:  Pulmacort
Generic name:  Budesonide (nasal inhaler).  Brand Name:  Rhinocort
Generic name:  Flunisolide (nasal inhaler).  Brand Name:  Nasalide
Generic name:  Flunisolide (oral inhaler).  Brand Name:  Aerobid
Generic name:  Fluticasone (oral inhaler).  Brand Name:  Flovent
Generic name:  Mometasone (nasal inhaler).  Brand Name:  Nasonex
Generic name:  Triamcinolone (oral inhaler).  Brand Name:  Azmacort
Generic name:  Theophylline.  Brand Name:  Aerolate

Blood Pressure-Lowering Drugs

Generic name:  Bumetanide.  Brand Name:  Bumex
Generic name:  Hydroclorothiazide (HCTZ), used alone or in combination with other drugs.  Brand Names:  Aldactazide, Capozide, Combipres, Dyazide, HydroDIURIL, Hyzaar, Lopressor-HCT, Lotensin HCT, Maxide, Microzide, Moduretic, Prinzide, Vaseretic, Zestoretic.
Generic name:  Triamterene.  Brand Name:  Dyrenium, or in combination with other drugs in Maxide and Dyazide.
Generic name:  Furosemide.  Brand Name:  Lasix
Generic name:  Hydralazine.  Brand Name:  Apresoline
Generic name:  Torsemide.  Brand Name:  Demadex

Anticonvulsant Drugs

Generic name:  Carbamazepine.  Brand Name:  Tegretol
Generic name:  Ethosuximide.  Brand Name:  Zarontin
Generic name:  Fosphenytoin.  Brand Name:  Cerebyx
Generic name:  Mephobarbital.  Brand Name:  Mebaral
Generic name:  Phenobarbital.  Brand Name:  Phenobarbital
Generic name:  Phenytoin.  Brand Name:  Dilantin
Generic name:  Primidone.  Brand Name:  Mysoline
Generic name:  Valproic Acid.  Brand Name:  Depakote, Depakene

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs

Generic name:  Cholestyramine.  Brand Name:  Colestid

Estrogens (Birth Control or HRT)

These drugs have the largest depletion of all the B Vitamins of any drug on the market.  There are dozens of different brands of estrogen products, and we have only listed the major brands here.  If you are taking estrogen in the form of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, even if you don’t see your particular estrogen drug on the list, assume that it works just like any other estrogen and that you need to compensate for the loss of B vitamins by taking additional B vitamins this is imperative.  

Generic name:  Estrogens (with or without progesterone) as contraceptives, oral or skin patch.  Brand Names:  Ortho-Novum, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ovral, Ovcon, Demulen, Loestrin (any estrogen-containing oral contraceptive.)
Generic name:  Estrogens (with or without progesterone) for hormone replacement therapy for menopause or hysterectomy; oral, skin patch, or cream.  Brand Names:  Premarin, Prempro, Activela, Combinpatch, Estrotest, any hormone replacement product containing estrogen.

Estrogen Substitutes for Osteoporosis

Generic name:  Raloxifene.  Brand Name:  Evista

Anti-Parkinson’s Drugs

Generic name:  Carbidopa and levodopa.  Brand Name:  Sinemet

Non steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

Generic name:  Celecoxib.  Brand Name:  Celebrex
Generic name:  Ibuprofen.  Brand Name:  Advil, Bayer Select, Motrin, Midol, etc.
Generic name:  Indomethacin.  Brand Name:  Indocin
Generic name:  Naproxen.  Brand Name:  Naprosyn, Aleve, etc.

Corticosteroids: Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Used to treat asthma, arthritis, allergy, and pain.

Generic name:  Methyl Prednisolone.  Brand Name:  Medrol
Generic name:  Prednisone.  Brand Name:  Deltasone, Orasone


ADHD Drugs and their side effects:  This information is available in its complete form from the manufacturer’s drug inserts and also published in the Physician Desk Reference

Adderall: Amphetamine with high potential for abuse, controlled substance, may lead to drug dependence, may exacerbate behavior disturbances and thought disorders, and psychotic episodes. Cardiac side effects: palpitations, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy with chronic use of amphetamines.

Catapres: Adult high blood pressure drug: delirium, mental depression, visual and auditory hallucinations, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, irritability, other behavioral changes, drowsiness. Cardiac side-effects: congestive heart failure, stroke, EKG abnormalities, arrhythmias, chest pain, syncope, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and palpitations.

Dexedrine: Amphetamine with high potential for abuse, controlled substance, may lead to drug dependence, psychotic episodes. Cardiac side effects: palpitations, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy with chronic amphetamine use.

Luvox: Mania, apathy, amnesia, delusions, depersonalization, drug dependence, emotional lability, hostility, paranoid reaction, and phobia. Cardiac side effects: hypertension, rapid heartbeat, syncope, angina, heart failure, and heart attack.

Norpramin: Psychiatric disturbances, seizures, anxiety, hallucinations, restlessness, agitation, nightmares, insomnia, confusion, tremors. Cardiac side effects: Sudden death in children, heart attack, heart block, stroke, arrhythmias, rapid heart rate.

Paxil: Mania/hypomania, impaired judgment, agitation, depression, anxiety, drugged feeling, depersonalization, amnesia, emotional lability, abnormal thinking, hallucinations, lack of emotion, hostility, manic reaction, neurosis, paranoid reaction, antisocial reaction, delirium, delusions, drug dependence, stupor. Cardiac side effects: hypertension, rapid heartbeat, syncope; EKG abnormalities, angina, heart attack.

Prozac: Anxiety, restlessness, mania/hypomania, seizures, suicide, impaired judgment, agitation, amnesia, confusion, emotional lability, apathy, depersonalization, hallucinations, hostility, paranoid reaction, and personality disorder, delusions. Cardiac side effects: hemorrhage, hypertension, angina, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, heart attack, rapid heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, cerebral embolism, heart block.

Ritalin: depression, chronic abuse can lead to tolerance and psychic dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur. Patients with agitation may react adversely. CBC and platelet count (lab work) are advised. Long-term effects have not been established. Cardiac side effects: necrotizing vasculitis, thrombocytopenia purpura, blood pressure and pulse changes, rapid heart beat, cardiac arrhythmia, angina.

Wellbutrin: Agitation, anxiety, restlessness, delusions, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, confusion, paranoia, mania, seizures, hostility, depression, depersonalization, mood instability, thought disorder, suicidal ideation. Cardiac side effects: edema, chest pain, EKG abnormalities, shortness of breath, and heart attack.

Zoloft: Mania/hypomania, suicide, agitation, anxiety, emotional lability, apathy, paranoid reactions, hallucinations, aggressive reactions, delusions, illusion. Cardiac side effects: heart palpitations, chest pain, hypertension, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, syncope, fluid retention, and heart attack.

Strattera: Upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, decrease in appetite, some weight loss, and mood swings were the most common side effects. In rare cases, Strattera can cause allergic reactions, such as swelling or hives, which can be serious.

Concerta: Headache, stomach pain, sleeplessness, and decreased appetite. Other side effects seen with methylphenidate, the active ingredient in CONCERTA®, include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, tics, allergic reactions, increased blood pressure and psychosis (abnormal thinking or hallucinations).