Can I take vitamin D and Prednisone Together?

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

Can I take vitamin D and Prednisone?

Can I take vitamin D and Prednisone? Yes. You can take Vitamin D and Prednisone together provided in certain conditions as prescribed by the doctor. This question often comes to the mind when people are told that steroid medications such as Prednisone can cause adverse effects when taken with Vitamin D. This misconception can hinder people from taking the nutritional supplement of vitamin D when they are already prescribed with Prednisone.

This article is formulated to remove any misconceptions based on the drug and nutrient interaction and help people find a better way to consume the two together to avoid any unwanted result.

It is always necessary to consult with your medical practitioner whenever you have prescribed medicine, and you are consuming any nutritional supplement. This can help you stay away from any toxic effects or simply one drug that will cause the other nutrient to cancel out, leading to no positive change.

Vitamin D interactions with drugs

When you take the drugs such as Dilantin and Phenobarbital together, you get an affected vitamin D metabolism. As a result, your calcium absorption rate is disturbed, and you do not get the required calcium deposited in your bones. As a result, you might also get deficient in calcium. Another cause of a negative drug and nutrient interaction of vitamin D with other drugs is when Alli and Xenical are taken together with the vitamin. Both of these drugs can cause your vitamin D absorption rates to decline. This can lead to calcium loss, as indicated in the previous interaction, thus causing a negative effect on your overall health.

https://media.istockphoto.com/photos/vitamin-d-keeps-you-healthy-while-lack-of-sun-yellow-soft-shell-picture-id1128987268?b=1&k=6&m=1128987268&s=170667a&w=0&h=9viAqGdUzj8lwE-4zRHRitlXaMBHo6EcOriYpCn8iRA=

We can see another interaction in the form of the drug that tends to lower cholesterol, named Cholestyramine, with the vitamin under discussion. When taken together, the interaction also acts negatively on the rate of calcium absorption in the body. We can see the same cases with the drugs concerning treating tuberculosis.

However, an interesting point to note is that the statin drugs known for lower cholesterol levels with thiazide diuretics can reverse the generalized pattern as a whole as they tend to increase the body's vitamin D absorption levels.

Vitamin D interactions with Prednisone

Prednisone decreases the levels of vitamin D, too, just like most of the drugs mentioned above; this is indicated by lowered levels of vitamin D in people's blood serums when taking Prednisone. Vitamin D is highly essential for bone health and other different functions in the body. If the body does not have any vitamin D, it would not be able to utilize calcium. The drug is known to deplete calcium levels in the blood serum. It can be a problem for people who are already at risk of getting osteoporosis as they are already deprived of getting enough calcium as stored in their bones. The body tends to get rid of calcium if it is not rejuvenated well in the body. For preventing this condition from happening, it is necessary to take calcium along with vitamin D, so there is no risk associated with the depletion of calcium from the bones.

What is Prednisone?

The medication acts as replacement therapy for individuals who have lower cortisol levels than usual in the blood. The cortisol is among the natural steroids produced in the body as a hormone. It also causes redness and swelling, which can happen as a result of inflammation.

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Medical practitioners prescribe the drug either alone or in combination with other drugs for addressing a variety of medical conditions that include but are not restricted to the following:

  1. Different forms of arthritis
  2. Some kinds of cancer
  3. Different reactions to allergy
  4. Multiple sclerosis
  5. Respiratory disease
  6. Lupus
  7. Dermatological conditions
  8. Problems related to the eye
  9. Renal diseases
  10. Thyroid issues
  11. Problems related to stomach and intestines

Some people with conditions such as HIV might develop pneumonia of a specific type and might be prescribed Prednisone and some other antibiotics. The prednisone drug was first introduced in 1955 with the brand name of Meticorten.

Several manufacturers make the drug available in the generic form, including brand names like Prednisone Intensol and others on the list. A study described that a low dosage of Prednisone, if given to people with early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, could increase the methotrexate's effectiveness, another drug used for treating the drug.

With many applications of the drug in medical conditions, there might be increased chances that more people would need to take up vitamin D with calcium supplements to prevent any calcium loss in the body.

Sources of vitamin D

Vitamin D is known to be vital for bone health and some other metabolic functions in our body. While there are many nutritional supplements available for vitamin D, you should be aware of getting vitamin D from natural sources. In a healthy person who does not have a nutritional deficiency of vitamin D in their body, they can get the RDA of the nutrient from consuming foods which include the following:

  • Fatty fish and seafood
  • Fortified juices and cereals

Besides that, you can get your daily dose of vitamin D from sitting in the sun for some minutes.

Dosage of vitamin D with Prednisone

Most doctors who prescribe patients with prednisone drugs suggest that anyone on the drug for more than three months should be taking vitamin D supplementation and calcium in their diet. In such cases, the recommended intake for vitamin D is 600 to 800 International Units or IU, equivalent to 15 to 20 mcg per day.

You can also take a supplement that contains vitamin D exclusively, or you can take a multivitamin supplement containing some amount of vitamin D as well. However, an important thing to consider in this regard is to get the nutrient in the recommended dosage, as discussed above. If it gets missed, it would not be of any use, especially to people who are on the drug for more than three months.

Supplementation is also highly essential during the winter season for such people as the sunlight source is alleviated to a significant proportion. The sunshine is needed to convert the inactive vitamin D into the active form of vitamin D in the skin so that it can be utilized well in the body. While it is easy to get sunshine in the summer season all times, the best appropriate time for getting sunshine is either at dusk or dawn. In winter, you can change the time from these to midday, where the sun is at its best peak for getting sunshine.

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To understand the simple theory about how the sun turns to vitamin D include the understanding of the different rays exhibited by the sun. The UVB ray is of special importance in this regard as it converts vitamin D inactive form into its active form. The receptors present in the skin sense the vitamin D2, the inactive form of the vitamin, and convert it into vitamin D3, the active form which is utilized by the body.

If you are a fair-skinned individual, 10 minutes are enough for you in a day to get sunlight at dusk or dawn and midday. This is essential to note as people with fair skin are at increased risk of getting sunburns and eczemas, so care must be taken in this regard. On the other hand, people having darker skin have melanin in their body which protects them from the radiation of the sun. So, it is essential for them to be in the sun for more minutes. Ideally, fifteen to thirty minutes would do. Also, it is more suitable for them to choose midday over dusk time as there is more exposure of rays for their already shielded skin by melanin.

Additional tips 

  • Stand in the sun at a spot where your shadow appears smaller than you. This is the point when you get the most of the UVB rays in winter
  • Take care of extremely sensitive areas that are not protected enough and might get easily reddened on even a little exposure to the sun, in case of people with photosensitivity
  • Take vitamin D from dietary sources, and if you think your bones are still getting weaker, get a plasma test for the presence of Vitamin D in the blood
  • Care must be taken while identifying the need for getting vitamin D supplements as there might be other causes of calcium depletion in the body, so discussion with your doctor is necessary.

Final word

Calcium absorption might get affected by taking Prednisone. To counter the issue, it is necessary to take vitamin D and calcium supplements to ensure there is no deficiency related to calcium in the body, especially when the patient has been taking the drug for more than three months, such as seen in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. Consulting an expert is highly essential to come to the right opinion about using any specific course of medication and nutritional supplements.

We hope this article gave you an insight regarding what you need to consider when taking the medication and drug together.

References

https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/medication/5332.pdf

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-abstract/28/9/1341/2715767?redirectedFrom=PDF

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5623087/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8967706/

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