You might not realize this, but your prescription medications could be giving you vitamin B12 deficiency; certain drugs drain B12 from your system and prevent you from absorbing vitamin B12- cobalamin- naturally from food sources. If you currently take any of the following medications, then you could be at risk for severe neurological damage.
Who is at risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in most animal protein sources; beef, chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, mussels, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are all rich in this essential B vitamin. Unless you follow a vegan diet, you probably ingest sufficient amounts of B12.
However, there are certain conditions, demographics, and lifestyle choices that can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12, regardless of how many hamburgers you eat. They are:
- Being among the elderly
- Suffering from gastrointestinal disease, such as Celiac, Crohn’s, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Submitting to bariatric surgery
- Lacking the ability to produce intrinsic factor, a hormone that aids in vitamin B12 absorption
- Suffering from fibromyalgia, or other autoimmune diseases
Which medications deplete vitamin B12 levels?
Certain medications may prevent your body from digesting vitamin B12- heartburn drugs, for example. If you experience symptoms such as chronic fatigue, memory loss, depression, brain fog, tingling or prickly sensations in your hands and feet, or altered sense of taste, you might have depleted your stores of vitamin B12. The only way to be certain is to get your vitamin B12 levels checked with a blood screening.
The following prescription drugs drain vitamin B12:
- Mometasone Furoate
- Penicillin Derivatives
- Sulfa drugs
- Tetracycline Derivatives
- Ethinyl Estradiol and Desogestrel
- Ethinyl Estradiol and Levonorgestrel
- Ethinyl Estradiol and Norethindrone
- Ethinyl Estradiol and Norgestimate
Cholesterol lowering medications
- Potassium Chloride
Proton pump inhibitors- heartburn drugs
- Ranitidine Bismuth Citrate
- Ranitidine Hydrochloride
Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:
Image credits, from top: