Depletion and Prescription Drugs

Nutrient Depletion and Prescription Drugs

The following table lists only a few nutrient depleting medications. There are many more medications that follow under each category we did not include due to space availability.  Please refer to the PDR for other medications that are not listed below for nutrient depletion.

Acid Blockers Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) and Histamine-2 receptor Antagonists (H2 blockers)

Prilosec, Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac, Axid
Depletes: Vitamin B1, folic acid, B12, calcium, iron and zinc. Acid blockers can also alter vitamin D metabolism and decrease serum levels of beta carotene


Penicillins, Cephalosporins, Fluoroquinolones, Macrolides, Aminoglycosides, Sulfonamides, Tetracyclines
Depletes: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, K; biotin, inositol, calcium, magnesium and iron, Lactobacillus acidophilus; Bifidobacteria bifidum (bifidus);
Depletes: Beta-carotene; vitamin A, B12
Depletes: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria bifidum (bifidus), Folic acid

Antibiotics, Tuberculosis

Isoniazid, Laniazid, Nydrazid
Depletes: Vitamin B6, vitamin B3 and vitamin D
Rifampin, Rifadin, Rimactane
Depletes: Vitamin D
Ethambutol (Myambutol)
Depletes: Zinc and copper

Anticonvulsants Barbituates

Amytal, Tuinal, Butalan, Buticaps, Butisol Sodium, Mebaral, Brevital, Barbita, Nembutal, Luminal, Solfoton, Seconal, Pentothal
Depletes: Calcium, folic acid, vitamin D and K
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Depletes: Biotin, Calcium, folic acid, B1, B12 and vitamin D
Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol)
Depletes: Biotin, folic acid, and vitamin D
Primidone (Mysoline)
Depletes: Biotin and folic acid
Valproic Acid (Depacon, Depakene, Depakote)
Depletes: Carnitine and folic acid

Anti-Diabetic Drugs

Glucophage,Glipizide Dymelor,Glucotrol,Avandia
Depletes: vitamin B12 and folic acid. They have also been known to increases homocysteine levels.  Also known is an increased risk of CoQ10 deficiency.


Nystatin, Miconazole, Ketoconazole, Fluconazole
Depletes: Calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

Anti-hypertensive Drugs also known as Beta-Blockers (Cardiovascular Drugs) Captopril, Capoten, Duraclon

Depletes: Zinc
Beta Blockers
Propranolol, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Pindolol, Acetutulol Betaxolol, Bisoprolol, Carteolol, Carvedilol, Esmolol, Labetalol, Nadolol, Sotalol, Timolol
Depletes: Co-Q10
Cardiac Glycosides Digoxin, Lanoxin
Depletes: Magnesium and B-Complex

Centrally Acting Antihypertensives Chlorthalidone Hygroton, Thalitone

Depletes: Zinc
Clonidine (Catapres, Duraclon) - Methyldopa (Aldomet)
Depletes: Co-Q10
Loop Diuretics Furosemide (Lasix) Bumetanide (Bumex) Ethacrynic Acid (Edecrin Depletes: Calcium, magnesium, potassium, B1, B6 and zinc.
Potassium-Sparing Diuretics - Triamterene (Dyrenium)
Depletes: Calcium, folic acid and zinc

Hydrochlorothiazide and Triamterene (Dyazide, Maxzide)

Depletes: Calcium, folic acid & B6

Thiazide Diuretics

Depletes: Co-Q10, magnesium, potassium & zinc.

Vasodilators Hydralazine

Depletes: Co-Q10, B6 Vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium and melatonin. They have also been known to inhibit the CoQ10 enzymes.

Antivirals - Anti-Retrovirals (Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors)

AZT, Aciclovir, Zovirax, Adefovir
Depletes: Zinc, B12, copper and l-carnitine.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories

Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Sulindac, Piroxicam, Diclofenac, Diflunisal, Etodolac, Fenoprofen, Ketoprofen, Ketorolac, Meclofenamate, Nabumetone, Tolmetin, Mefenamic Acid, Celecoxib.
Depletes: Folic acid


Depletes: Folic acid and iron
Salicylates aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate, choline salicylate
Depletes: Folic acid, iron, potassium, sodium and vitamin C
Depletes: Folic acid

Aspirin is known to decreases vitamin C, B12, zinc absorption and decrease in total body iron.  Also a decreases both total and bound serum folate and slightly increases folic acid excretion.


Theophylline, Inhalers, Flovent, Pulmicort
Depletes: Vitamin B6

Corticosteroids Cortisone, Hydrocortisone and Prednisone

Depletes: calcium absorption and increase calcium excretion.  They also decreased serum magnesium, potassium, of zinc and copper levels.  Some evidence appears that vitamin C and vitamin D may be affected.


Diuretics are known for depleting magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, pyridoxine, thiamine, ascorbic and chloride.
Loop Diuretics Furosemide (Lasix) Bumetanide (Bumex) Ethacrynic Acid Edecri
Depletes: Calcium, magnesium, potassium, B1, B6 and zinc.

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics Triamterene, Dyrenium

Depletes: Calcium, folic acid and zinc

Thiazide Diuretics

Depletes: Co-Q10, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Hormone Replacement (HRT) and Oral Contraceptives Depletes:

B vitamins including pyridoxines (vitamin B6) as well as albumin in postmenopausal women.  Oral estradiol may also be associated with a disruption in tryptophan and tyrosine metabolism.  HRT increases magnesium uptake into bone and soft tissue, causing lowered blood magnesium levels.

Oral Contraceptives

Depletes: riboflavin (vitamin B2), B3, B6, folic acid, cobalamin (vitamin B12), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and zinc.  This being the most common drug taken before getting pregnant and most important vitamins being depleted for the fetus neurological development.

SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Re uptake Inhibitors)

Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, Fluoxetine, Paroxetine
Depletes: vitamin c

Statin Drugs (Cholesterol Lowering Drugs)

Atorvastatin, Cerivastatin, Lovastatin, Fluvastatin, Pravastatin, Simvastatin
Depletes: Beta-Carotene, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, and zinc. Statin drug therapy significantly decreases plasma levels of CoQ10.
Depletes: Beta-Carotene, folic acid, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E
Depletes: Beta-Carotene, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K and zinc.

The Drug-induced nutrient depletion list most likely will grow as more research is done.  It protect yourself from nutrient depletion it would be wise to taking a quality multiple vitamin to keep the body in balance and additionally the specific nutrient being depleted by any medication you may be required to take.


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