How to Counter the Side Effects of Prescription Drugs Naturally

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Although many of us try not to take prescription drugs, sometimes avoiding them just isn’t an option. Of course, if you need to take a prescription medication yourself, maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks should definitely be one of your top priorities.

However, this isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish, as many popular medications have a range of side effects to deal with. So how can you counter them and help minimize your risks? Supplements may very well help.

Supplements Can Protect Against Side Effects

A regimen that includes nutritional supplements can be a safe and effective way to minimize the side effects of the drugs that you’re taking. But it’s not only about minimizing risk; it’s also about maximizing the benefits from your medications.

You see, by helping prevent side effects, supplements can actually increase compliance — the likelihood of you taking your meds. This is a well-established fact. If you avoid taking a medication because of its side effects, there’s just no way you‘re going to benefit from it. Simple but true.

Medications, Side Effects, and Nutrient Suggestions

The table below provides nutritional suggestions to help counter the side effects associated with nine commonly prescribed drugs. The nutrient(s) listed next to each side effect on the same line are what we suggest for countering its undesirable effects.

Please note: if you are taking any medication, please speak with your doctor before starting any supplement.

Type of Drug
Brand Names
Side Effects
Nutritional Suggestions
ACE Inhibitors
Listril, Lotensin, Vasotec
Dry Cough
Slippery Elm
CoQ10, D-Ribose
Liver Inflammation
Milk thistle, SAMe
Any Brand Name
Probiotics, Carnosine
Loss of Bone Density
Bone Formula
Toprol, Coreg, Tenormin, Betapace, Normodyne
Hair loss
Ginger, B vitamins
Saw palmetto
Calcium Channel Blockers
Norvasc, Cardizem, Procardia, Covera
Fiber, Probiotics
CoQ10, D-Ribose
Melatonin, Butterbur
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen
Kidney Problems
Probiotics, Carnosine
Cranberry, Hibiscus
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix
Low Magnesium
Low B12
Infections (C. difficile)
Vitamin B12
Probiotics, Vitamin D3
Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor
Liver Inflammation
Muscle Aches/Pain
Milk Thistle, SAMe
CoQ10, Carnitine
B vitamins, PS Caps

Drug class, brand names and side effects are from

Nutritional suggestions are from Life Extension® protocols.

Do you take any prescription medications yourself? Have you tried using supplements to help reduce the side effects? Please share your experiences below in the comments.


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