When to take supplements and meds

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 11/11/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
This may have been asked and answered before, but I'd like to be sure I have this right...  I am taking Asocol (2 - 3x/day) and calcium, probiotics and will be starting fish oil - can I take all of these at once or will they cancel each other out?   The probiotics I take separately, just before bed, but it makes my life easier if I can take the rest all at the same time - generally around mealtimes - sometimes before, sometimes after depending on what time we are eating. 
Also, I take the morning doses with my fruit smoothies, which contain orange juice - I read somewhere that citrus juices can have an effect on some medication - does anyone know if this is true?
Finally, I believe someone said that psyllium need to be taken 2 hours before or after asocol due to absorbtion problem - is that correct?  Can I take them at bedtime with the probiotics?
Thanks for all your help - this site is a fantastic resource!
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (2 - 3 times / day)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hmm I don't see of any complications of doing what you are doing. Orange juice with pills is fine btw, it's usually grapefruit juice that has to be avoided because it lessens the potency of some meds. Unless it specifically states on the bottle to avoid orange juice?

A good website to check out interactions is www.drugdigest.com
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking calcium for a while now and the bottle has always said to take it with meals. I just bought a new bottle yesterday (exactly the same as my previous bottles) and it now has a warning saying I should avoid taking the calcium 2 hours prior to or until 4 hours after taking other medications. I had always taken my calcium in the morning at the same time as my asacol. Now I guess I'll take it with lunch since I don't take any other medication then. I don't know why the warning now - maybe other drugs can affect Ca absorption or Ca can affect the other drugs?

-F/33 -diagnosed June 2006
-last 25cm of colon affected
-Salofalk enemas stopped working
-xylocaine enemas put me in remission
-Asacol 2 800mg pills 2x/day
-budesonide enemas as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 11/11/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   

It was difficult to find, but there is a warning on the metamucil fiber wafer box that says to avoid taking prescription medications within 2 hours of the wafers.  I think I read somewhere else here that this might be true for other fiber supplements, too.   

Sometimes I feel like my day is planned around when I need to take my meds, when I need to eat, and what, etc.   

Potato...  Female, 58, dx 11/07 mild left sided ulcerative colitis (50 cm)
asacol 3 3x a day, cortenema (generic) every third night rowasa
culturelle, benefiber wafers metamucil wafers, activia yogurt, spinach & sunflower diet, primadophilus reuteri, Centrum, Vitamin E 400 mg
omeprazole 2xday, oxazepam when needed, lomotil or ImodiumAD when needed
Yoga, meditation, The Work by Byron Katie, exercise at least 5 days a week

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 11/11/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your replies - this board is sure a great resource!
It certainly is easier to take everthing at once, if I have to plan out pills ever 2 hours I can see me forgetting a lot of them!  I'm really hoping that it's not an issue.  I wasn't able to find any interactions on the drugdigest website, which made me feel better (thanks Red_34 for the link - interesting site!).  I'll have to check my calcium bottle when I get home - I didn't notice any warnings on it but maybe on the new bottle I just picked up!
I did know that psyllium could cause a problem - any reason why I can't take it at night with the probiotics?
45, female
Diagnosed September 2008
Asocol (2 - 3 times / day)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 11/11/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Psyllium absorbs water like a sponge and creates a gelatinous formation after consumption. The water absorbtion also absorbs meds too as they dissolve in the same mixture and reduces efficiency of the medication. Don't combine them.

However, there's nothing wrong with combining psyllium with probiotics. Probiotics are organisms that are not absorbed by the body so it is safe to let them ride along the psyllium train.
Diagnosed w/ Ulcerative Colitis in 1995
32 years old
Living med free  
Currently in remission  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 11/11/2008 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Citrus juices can make some allergy meds, like Allegra, less effective. Here are a couple of links:



You'll have to copy and paste, but they both contain small lists of meds affected by citrus juice/fruit.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone, flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.

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