Vitamin and mineral supplements: friend or foe when combined with medications?

J Am Dent Assoc. 2014 Nov;145(11):1153-8. doi: 10.14219/jada.2014.78.


Background: Given the prevalence of vitamin and mineral supplement use among consumers and the potential for vitamin- and mineral-drug interactions, as well as oral and systemic adverse effects of excess consumption, oral health care providers (OHCPs) should ask all patients about their use. The challenges for OHCPs are how to recognize oral and systemic manifestations of these interactions and how to safely manage the care of these patients while avoiding potential interactions.

Methods: The authors reviewed the literature regarding interactions between popular vitamin and mineral supplements and medications used commonly in dentistry. They used clinical databases and decision support tools to classify interactions according to their level of patient risk. They address interactions of greatest clinical concern with a high-quality evidence-based foundation in either randomized controlled clinical trials or meta-analyses.

Conclusion: Most medications used commonly in dentistry can be prescribed safely without regard to vitamin- and mineral-drug interactions. However, patients taking anticoagulants or cytochrome P450 3A4 substrates (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, midazolam and triazolam) in addition to specific vitamin or mineral supplements (vitamins D, E, K, calcium, fluoride, iron, magnesium, selenium or zinc) may face additional challenges. OHCPs need to recognize these potential interactions and know how to manage the care of patients who may be receiving treatment with these combination therapies.

Practical implications: Recognition and avoidance of potential vitamin- and mineral-drug interactions will help clinicians optimize patient treatment while emphasizing patient safety.

Keywords: Vitamins; dentistry; drugs; interactions; minerals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dentistry*
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Minerals / adverse effects*
  • Patient Safety
  • Vitamins / adverse effects*


  • Minerals
  • Vitamins