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Q&A: Do medications lower your levels of vitamin D?

Consumer Reports News: March 17, 2010 10:33 AM

Do any medications lower your levels of vitamin D? —W.H.F., Rockville, Md.

Yes. Some drugs deplete vitamin D by interacting with it, and others hinder its absorption. Those include certain corticosteroids such as prednisone (Sterapred DS and generic); the weight-loss medication orlistat (Alli and Xenical); the cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine (Questran and generic); and the antiseizure drug phenytoin (Dilantin and generic). Mineral oil, sometimes used as a natural laxative, can also deplete D levels. If you take any of those, try to time them several hours before or after you get your main sources of vitamin D, and ask your doctor whether you need extra doses of the nutrient.

Find out how why you might need more vitamin D  and learn how to get it from food . And to see which vitamins and supplements interact with your medications, check out our Interaction Checker  (subscribers only). 

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