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All about: multivitamins and minerals

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Generic Name: multivitamins and minerals (mull tee VYE tah mins and MIH ner als)
Brand Names:

What are multivitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are naturally occurring substances necessary for many processes in the body. Vitamins and minerals are found in the foods we eat.

Multivitamins (combinations of vitamins) and minerals are available in tablets, capsules, liquids, and injections. Multivitamins and minerals are used to treat vitamin and mineral shortages in the body that may occur because of illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, decreased absorption of foods through the stomach, and many other circumstances.

Multivitamins and minerals may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about multivitamins and minerals?

Do not take more of a multivitamin and minerals than is prescribed for you or is directed on the package. Large doses of multivitamins and minerals can be dangerous.

Who should not take multivitamins and minerals?

Some multivitamins and minerals may affect other medical conditions or treatments. Do not start taking a vitamin or mineral without first talking to your doctor if you have any health problems or conditions, or if you take other medications.

Multivitamins and minerals are generally considered to be safe for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Special prenatal vitamins are available and are important for the healthy development of a baby. However, large doses of some vitamins can be harmful. Talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin and mineral supplement during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

How should I take multivitamins and minerals?

Take multivitamins and minerals exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. Take multivitamins and minerals with food to lessen stomach upset.

Some multivitamins and minerals are available in a chewable tablet formulation. Chew these tablets thoroughly before swallowing.

Some multivitamins and minerals are also available in liquid form. To ensure that you get the correct dosage, measure liquid multivitamins and minerals with a dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Do not take more of a vitamin or mineral than is prescribed for you or is directed on the package. Large doses of multivitamins and minerals can be dangerous. Store multivitamins and minerals at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Most commonly, symptoms of a vitamin and mineral overdose include nausea and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking multivitamins and minerals?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while you are taking vitamin or mineral supplements. Follow any special instructions your doctor gives you.

Multivitamins and minerals side effects

Stop taking multivitamins and minerals and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Nausea, constipation, black stools, and diarrhea are among the most common. Taking multivitamins and minerals with food may decrease these side effects.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect multivitamins and minerals?

Before taking a multivitamin and mineral, tell your doctor if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines. You may not be able to take the multivitamin and mineral supplement, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any other medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about multivitamins and minerals written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Multivitamins and minerals are available by prescription and over-the-counter generically and under many brand names in several formulations. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:03:21 PM.

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