Are there any supplements I should avoid when taking an antibiotic? Are there any that may be helpful?
Antibiotics can be affected by the supplements you take, and they can affect your ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals.
The interactions will depend on the type of antibiotic you are taking. You can search for the specific antibiotic you are taking by name in the Drug Interactions
section of our ConsumerLab.com.
Some of the most common antibiotics are listed below, followed by the supplements with which they can interact. Use the links for more details:
Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox):
Bromelain, vitamin K
Cephalosporins (cephalexin (Cefanex, Keflex, Keftab, Biocef), cefdinir (Omnicef), etc.):
Fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin)): Calcium, magnesium, iron
, fennel, Dong Quai, St. John's Wort
Tetracyclines (doxycycline (Bio-Tab, Doryx, Doxy-Caps), tetracycline hydrochloride (Achromycin V, Panmycin etc.): Calcium, magnesium, iron
, Dong Quai, St. John's Wort, citrate (i.e. potassium citrate)
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Cotrim, Septra, Sulfatrim):
Folate, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), potassium, white willow, St. John's wort
Interestingly, some of the supplements noted above (folate
and vitamin K
) may, at times, be helpful when taking certain antibiotics, as can probiotics
Also see these related CL Answers:
When is the best time to take probiotics to prevent diarrhea from antibiotics - before, during, or after the course of antibiotic treatment? >>
Is it okay to take a zinc supplement while I am on an antibiotic for a respiratory infection? >>
This CL Answer initially posted on 5/31/2016.
Last updated 7/26/2017.