Supplements warning: Dietary pills can interfere with medication warns Oxford University

Dr Zoe reveals which supplements to take

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“If the finding is replicated, it suggests that doctors may need to find alternative treatments for depression in women with bipolar disorder considering having a child. More broadly it also emphasises the need to consider the role that diet can play in influencing how patients respond to drugs.”

Professor Tunbridge said Oxford’s study was not the first to draw a link between dietary supplements and their impact on prescription drugs.

What was notable about the impact of folic acid on these mental health patients was, said Tunbridge, that it made patient’s symptoms worse.

“This surprising result raises the possibility that there are many other foods and supplements that may influence the effects of prescribed drugs.”

While these findings may appear worrying, it could have some positive consequences.

By finding out to what extent dietary changes affect the impact of prescribed drugs, doctors can tailor an individual’s diet to each medication so that it works most effectively for the duration of the prescription.

Folic acid’s relationship and impact on other medications is not new.

The NHS website cautions: “There are some medicines that may interfere with how folic acid works. Folic acid can also affect the way other medicines work.”

The NHS suggests, for example, that folic acid should not be taken within two hours, before or after, of consuming remedies for indigestion as they may prevent the absorption of folic acid.

Furthermore, it is recommended that an individual should inform a doctor if they’re taking selected medicines before they start taking folic acid.

Information about the medicines concerned can be found here.

Additionally, the NHS also advises that folic acid can also have an impact on the effectiveness of herbal remedies.

Folic acid is not suitable for use by everyone.

It’s important that a GP is informed if an individual has had an allergic reaction to folic acid or other medicine, if they have low vitamin B12 levels, cancer, a type of kidney dialysis known as haemodialysis or a stent in their heart.

Dosage for folic acid will depend on the nature of the condition and the presence of other conditions.

Side effects are also possible with folic acid.

Nausea, loss of appetite, bloating, or wind are potential side effects an individual may experience.

In more serious cases folic acid can cause a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

A full list of side effects will be listed on the information leaflet that comes with each packet of the supplement.

For more information about folic acid, contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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