MENU
ConsumerLab.com Answers

Question:
Are there any supplements I should avoid when taking an antibiotic? Are there any that may be helpful?

Answer:
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.): Vitamin K 

Fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin)): Calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, fennel, Dong Quai, St. John's Wort

Tetracyclines (doxycycline (Bio-Tab, Doryx, Doxy-Caps), tetracycline hydrochloride (Achromycin V, Panmycin etc.): Calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, 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? >>



See other recent and popular questions >>
Comments
Add Comment

Robert16267   December 6, 2017
I developed terrible side effects to Ciprofloxacin, which is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. I was an healthy young athlete before taking it and now can’t even walk without excruciating tendon pain in my Achilles‘ tendon. Be aware that this can potentially happen to anyone taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and that there are numerous other side effects associated with them like depression and even suicide.

Heather9750   June 1, 2016
It is cautioned that anyone taking antibiotics should stop their
"proteolytic systemic enzymes" until the full course of antibiotics have been completed.

ConsumerLab.com   June 1, 2016
Hi Heather - As noted above, bromelain (and potentially, other proteolytic enzymes) may increase the efficacy of antibiotics. However, this may require an adjustment in dose, so it may be best to avoid the combination.

This CL Answer initially posted on 5/31/2016. Last updated 7/26/2017.

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Edit Comment...

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment: