Medications include liquids or bars, as well as pills, that doctors prescribe for treating diseases and conditions. Food and Drug Administration regulates these products as drugs. Supplements on the other hand are ingested. There are many types of supplements, including tablets and capsules. They are not regulated by the FDA and are meant to replace nutrients that are missing from your diet. Some examples of supplements are multivitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C.
The intent of the manufacturer is what makes a product into a dietary complement, not whether an active ingredient was synthesized or derived from plants or natural sources. But even that distinction is blurred. Asbestos is a natural substance that has been shown to have serious side effects. Some substances are so toxic that they can be fatal. In addition to that, many “natural medicines” have been developed in a lab, such as GLP1s and ACE-inhibitors (which were derived from Gila monster saliva).
Some people think it is safe if something occurs naturally. This is a dangerous and misleading belief. In reality, some naturally occurring things can be very harmful to humans. For example, the bacteria that causes lyme, tetanus, and salmonella. Many antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, pain relievers and blood thinners are made from natural ingredients. Some of these ingredients are very safe like aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Acetaminophen. Others are very dangerous such as snake venom, aphrodisiacs and the toxins in a mushroom that is used to treat HIV/AIDS.
The way that they interact is another important distinction between prescription medications and dietary supplements. For example, certain dietary supplements such as St. John’s Wort, garlic, or ginkgo can alter how certain medicines work in the body and reduce their effectiveness. This is due to the fact that they can alter the way a medicine is metabolized.
Similarly, some drugs require a very precise dosage in order to work properly. This is due to their very narrow therapeutic index. If you take too little or too much, the drug will not work or could be fatal. Taking these medications with other products, such as supplements that contain vitamins or minerals, can increase the amount of medicine that stays in the body and increases the risk of adverse reactions.
Tell your doctor if you’re taking any prescription medications. Also, tell them about any supplements or other medicines you may be taking, so you have to know about Supplements vs Medications. This is especially true for newer medicines that haven’t been studied in large groups of patients. Your health care provider will be more safe if they know what you’re taking. This information is important to avoid harmful interactions and make sure you get the maximum benefit out of your medication. You should also keep a record of all the medications you take. This can be done by writing them down in your daily journal or diary.