Vitamins are medicines too

Vitamins are often seen as a harmless addition to your diet, but one in two vitamin consumers doesn’t consider the risk of interaction with other medication.

A survey of 2500 Australians on vitamin use, commissioned by Canstar Blue, showed that more than half (55 per cent) did not know multivitamins are considered medication and nearly two-thirds are not advising their health practitioner that they take a multivitamin.

Some of the common concerns with taking multivitamins are:

  • Supplements which contain calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc can interfere with the absorption of some medications
  • Too much Vitamin C per day may increase the chance of kidney stones
  • Vitamin K can reduce the performance of Warfarin in preventing a blood clot

If you take regular medication and are considering a multivitamin, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist beforehand. If you have experienced and adverse effect from a medication, including multivitamins, you should report this via the Adverse Medicines Events (AME) line on 1300 134 237 from anywhere in Australia (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm AEST).

For further information on prescription safety, read YOURLifeChoices article How safe is your prescription? 

Written by Debbie McTaggart