We know about some of the vitamins and supplements. There is very limited data in this category. The FDA oversees it a little bit, but it's really not strictly overseen and there is not a lot of clinical trials. So as pharmacists we have some reference materials, there are some things called the German Commission E studies which were actually done on a variety of different vitamins, but the supplements are a little bit harder, and as more-and-more people take these and incorporate that into their daily lives, we are finding out that they may not be as safe as we thought.
They may interact with medications, some of the fillers or sugars, people are getting allergic reactions to. They may cause rises in blood pressure. So we want patients to understand that they need to exercise and caution when it comes to this category, and also find out whether or not their doctor wants them to take this.
I only say when a patient comes and they ask me, should I'd be taking this vitamin? I ask them if they recently had a physical, and have they had blood work to find out if they are deficient in certain vitamins and is this particular supplement necessary?
They are over-the-counter, we think that they are natural, they are safer, not necessarily, but talk to your pharmacist, proceed with caution, follow the directions exactly as you are supposed to take them, and make sure that everybody knows, your pharmacists, your doctor, or healthcare provider. It should be included on your medication list as well. So if you go to any different pharmacies or any different doctors, don't know what you are taking to.
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