A Answers (4)
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredDon't start taking one without talking to your doctor first. Although some types of medical nutrition, such as regular PediaSure, do not require medical supervision, you should always check with a doctor before taking it. This is because people who take medical nutrition supplements in addition to eating an adequate diet run the risk of overdosing on vitamins or minerals. Obesity may also result from unnecessary use of medical nutrition. Ask your doctor about pediatric uses of medical nutrition before you buy a product for your child. Sometimes even the pickiest of eaters run the risk of becoming over-nourished.
It is important to tell your doctor all the medications, herbal remedies, and nutritional supplements that you are taking. A lot of these medications can be dangerous in themselves and haven't been tested by the FDA. Others can interfere with other medications you are taking.
Brian Tanzer, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Your physician should know all dietary supplements you're taking, especially if you are taking prescription medications. Since there is potential for interaction, reduced/increased drug effectiveness when taking certain supplements, always let your physician know what you're nutritional supplements you're taking.
In addition, some prescription medications can reduce the absorption of essential nutrients. For example, commonly-prescribed Proton-pump inhibitors (acid reducers) such as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and AciPhex for heartburn, ulcers, etc. can reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 and calcium. This is just one of many examples, and an important reason to let your physician know what nutritional supplements you take.
Just a word of advice. There are some physicians not trained in the use of nutritional supplements. If you are prescribed a medication such as the class mentioned above, do your "homework" so you know the potential side effects and don't be embarrassed to discuss them with your physician.
Absolutely! In fact, it is better to first discuss your interest in taking a medical nutrition supplement with your physician prior to starting.