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Drugs that Deplete B Vitamins Dr.

David Perlmutter
B vitamins are your best protection against elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino
acid produced in the body that in excess, can increase your risk of mood disorders,
poor mental performance, and Alzheimers disease.
A wide range of drugs, from aspirin to estrogen to diuretics to stomach acid suppressors
(such as Nexium and Prilosec) can interfere with the metabolism of one or more B
vitamins, which can result in elevated levels of homocysteine. You who are worried
about preserving your brain power, take note: medical research now clearly links poor
performance on mental function tests to elevated homocysteine levels. Having too
much of this amino acid floating around in your bloodstream can cost you a few IQ
points! B vitamins are also critical for mood and concentration, and a severe deficiency
in B vitamins (especially vitamin B12 can result in symptoms such as severe confusion
and mental fog at any age. Elevated levels of homocysteine and/or low levels of B
vitamins can also increase the risk of depression, stroke, Alzheimers disease, vascular
dementia, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. If you are using a drug that
depletes your body of B vitamins, you must take supplemental B vitamins daily and
demand to have your homocysteine levels checked periodically by your doctor.

Pain Relievers

Generic name: Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Brand Names: Pure aspirin is sold
under numerous brand names, including many private store labels. Percodan and
Empirin are combination aspirin and codeine products.

Antibiotics

Generic name: Trimethoprim: antibiotic frequently prescribed for chronic urinary tract
infections. Brand Names: Bactrim, Septra

Antacid and Stomach Acid Suppressors

Generic name: Cimetidine. Brand Names: Tagamet

Generic name: Famotidine. Brand Names: Pepcid

Generic name: Ranitidine. Brand Names: Zantac, Zantac 75

Generic name: Lansoprazole. Brand Names: Prevacid

Generic name: Nizatidine. Brand Names: Axid

Generic name: Omeprazole. Brand Names: Prilosec

Antidiabetic Drugs

Generic name: Metformin. Brand Names: Glucophage

Asthma Drugs

Generic name: Beclomethasone (oral inhaler). Brand Name: Vanceril

Generic name: Budesonide (oral inhaler). Brand Name: Pulmacort

Generic name: Budesonide (nasal inhaler). Brand Name: Rhinocort

Generic name: Flunisolide (nasal inhaler). Brand Name: Nasalide

Generic name: Flunisolide (oral inhaler). Brand Name: Aerobid

Generic name: Fluticasone (oral inhaler). Brand Name: Flovent

Generic name: Mometasone (nasal inhaler). Brand Name: Nasonex

Generic name: Triamcinolone (oral inhaler). Brand Name: Azmacort

Generic name: Theophylline. Brand Name: Aerolate

Blood Pressure-Lowering Drugs

Generic name: Bumetanide. Brand Name: Bumex

Generic name: Hydroclorothiazide (HCTZ), used alone or in combination with other


drugs. Brand Names: Aldactazide, Capozide, Combipres, Dyazide, HydroDIURIL,
Hyzaar, Lopressor-HCT, Lotensin HCT, Maxide, Microzide, Moduretic, Prinzide,
Vaseretic, Zestoretic.

Generic name: Triamterene. Brand Name: Dyrenium, or in combination with other


drugs in Maxide and Dyazide.

Generic name: Furosemide. Brand Name: Lasix

Generic name: Hydralazine. Brand Name: Apresoline

Generic name: Torsemide. Brand Name: Demadex

Anticonvulsant Drugs

Generic name: Carbamazepine. Brand Name: Tegretol

Generic name: Ethosuximide. Brand Name: Zarontin

Generic name: Fosphenytoin. Brand Name: Cerebyx

Generic name: Mephobarbital. Brand Name: Mebaral

Generic name: Phenobarbital. Brand Name: Phenobarbital

Generic name: Phenytoin. Brand Name: Dilantin

Generic name: Primidone. Brand Name: Mysoline

Generic name: Valproic Acid. Brand Name: Depakote, Depakene

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs

Generic name: Cholestyramine. Brand Name: Colestid

Estrogens
There are dozens of different brands of estrogen products, and I have only listed the
major brands here. If you are taking estrogen in the form of birth control pills or
hormone replacement therapy, even if you dont see your particular estrogen drug on
the list, assume that it works just like any other estrogen and that you need to
compensate for the loss of B vitamins by taking additional B vitamins.

Generic name: Estrogens (with or without progesterone) as contraceptives, oral or


skin patch. Brand Names: Ortho-Novum, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ovral, Ovcon, Demulen,
Loestrin (any estrogen-containing oral contraceptive.)

Generic name: Estrogens (with or without progesterone) for hormone replacement


therapy for menopause or hysterectomy; oral, skin patch, or cream. Brand Names:
Premarin, Prempro, Activela, Combinpatch, Estrotest, any hormone replacement
product containing estrogen.

Estrogen Substitutes for Osteoporosis

Generic name: Raloxifene. Brand Name: Evista

Anti-Parkinsons Drugs

Generic name: Carbidopa and levodopa. Brand Name: Sinemet

Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

Generic name: Celecoxib. Brand Name: Celebrex

Generic name: Ibuprofen. Brand Name: Advil, Bayer Select, Motrin, Midol, etc.

Generic name: Indomethacin. Brand Name: Indocin

Generic name: Naproxen. Brand Name: Naprosyn, Aleve, etc.

Corticosteroids: Anti-inflammatory Drugs


Used to treat asthma, arthritis, allergy, and pain.

Generic name: Methyl Prednisolone. Brand Name: Medrol

Generic name: Prednisone. Brand Name: Deltasone, Orasone