IS THAT SUPPLEMENT SAFE TO TAKE WITH YOUR MEDICATIONS?

There are many resources available to help.


When clients come to me, sometimes they have a list of medications. I always encourage them to seek the help of their local pharmacist. They have been well trained and have resources to check drug interactions. There are also a few online sources as well.


Below are some online resources to help you check your prescription medications and how they may interact with supplements. I also highly recommend you talk with your local pharmacist.

Drugs.com

The Drug Interactions tool allows you to check for drug-drug interactions as well as drug-food, and drug-disease state interactions. It has the most complete drug-drug information of the sites we examined, with a rating of the interaction severity. You can also find limited information on vitamins and some common herbs and supplements. (Uncommon supplements such as rhodiola and ashwagandha are not included.) With the tool, you can also analyze multiple drugs, supplements, and herbs at the same time.


Medscape.com

Medscape's Drug Interaction Checker allows you to check for drug-drug, drug-supplement, and supplement-supplement interactions. The checker includes vitamins, common herbs and supplements, as well as some uncommon ones. This tool also lets you analyze multiple drugs, supplements, and herbs at once. Some interactions detected by Drugs.com were missed by Medscape.com and the information on supplement interactions is incomplete.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

This site provides detailed information for over 200 herbs, including many uncommon supplements and those often used by cancer patients. While it does not offer an interaction checker, the site provides interaction information for each herb in the "Potential Interactions" section by clicking on "Herb-Drug Interactions." In some cases, the list of drug interactions is incomplete.


Rxisk.org

The Rxisk Interaction Checker uses two resources provided by the US National Library of Medicine:

ONCHigh: a list of high-priority drug-drug interactions derived by a panel of expertsDrugBank: a database of drugs and drug-drug interactions

At Rxisk, you can check multiple drugs and supplements at once. However, only common supplements and vitamins are in the system and the supplement interaction information is incomplete. Some interactions detected by Drugs.com were missed by Rxisk.org.


Rxlist.com

The Rxlist Drug Interaction Checker includes drug-drug interactions as well as some vitamins. This tool allows you to check multiple drugs at once. However, it also failed to find some drug-drug interactions detected by Drugs.com.


Webmd.com

The WebMD Interaction Checker analyzes drugs, vitamins, and some herbs and supplements. And you can check multiple drugs and vitamins at once. The information, however, is incomplete for drug-drug, drug-supplement, and supplement-supplement interactions.