Depleted levels of iron may lead to anemia and weakened immune function. In
the event of anemia, symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath,
pale skin color, and possibly irregular heartbeat.
Note: Iron loss is secondary to bleeding.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea,
drowsiness, feelings of apprehension, excessive thirst, irrational behavior,
fatigue, muscle pain and weakness (usually of the lower limbs); severe cases may
lead to irregular heartbeat.
Vitamin B9 (Folic
Low levels of folic acid have been linked to anemia, heart disease, and birth
Vitamin C (Ascorbic
Vitamin C deficiency may include bruising, fever, anemia, emotional changes,
swollen and bleeding gums, fatigue, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin
and eyes), increased susceptibility to infections, slow wound healing, and
swelling of the lower limbs. Severe deficiency leads to scurvy, a disorder that
affects muscles and bones and is potentially fatal. However, scurvy is rare
these days because of the wide availability of vitamin C from dietary
The selected depletions information presented here identifies some of the
nutrients that may be depleted by certain medications. The signs and symptoms
associated with nutrient deficiency may also indicate conditions other than
nutrient deficiency. If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms
mentioned, it does not necessarily mean that you are nutrient deficient.
Nutrient depletion depends upon a number of factors, including your medical
history, diet, and lifestyle as well as the length of time you have been taking
the medication. Please consult your healthcare provider; he or she can best
assess and address your individual healthcare needs, and determine if you are at
risk for nutrient depletions from these medications as well as others not listed
Ames BN. Micronutrient deficiencies: A major cause of DNA damage. Ann NY
Acad Sci. 2000;889:87-106.
Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C
based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr
Coffey G. and Wilson CWM. Ascorbic acid deficiency and aspirin-induced
haematemesis. BM J. 1975;1:208.
Covington T, ed. Nonprescription Drug Therapy Guiding Patient
Self-Care. St. Louis, Mo: Facts and Comparisons; 1999: 467-545.
Lawrence, VA, et al. Aspirin and folate binding: in vivo and in vitro studies
of serum binding and urinary excretion of endogenous folate. J Lab Clin
Leonards JH. and Levy G. Gastrointestinal blood loss during prolonged aspirin
administration. N Engl J Med. 1973;289:1020-1022.
National Research Council. Recommended Dietary Allowances.
10th ed. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1989.
Selhub, J, et al. Inhibition of folate enzymes by sulfasalazine. J Clin
Smith MJH. and Smith PK. eds. The Salicylates: A Critical Bibliographic
Review. New York, Interscience, 1966.
Wilson JD. Vitamin deficiency and excess. In: Fauci AS, Braunwald E,
Isselbacher KJ, et al, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.
14th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies Health Professional
Review Date: October 2000
Reviewed By: All depletions monographs have been reviewed by a team of experts including
Derrick M. DeSilva, Jr., MD, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy, NJ;
Jacqueline A. Hart, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley
Hospital, Harvard University and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc., Boston,
MA; John Hinze, PharmD, NMD, Woodbine, IA; Ruth Marlin, MD, Medical Director and
Director of Medical Education, Preventive Medicine Research Institute,
Sausalito, CA; Brian T Sanderoff, PD, BS in Pharmacy, Clinical Assistant
Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy; President, Your
Prescription for Health, Owings Mills, MD; Leonard Wisneski, MD, FACP, George
Washington University, Rockville, MD; Ira Zunin, MD, MPH, MBA, President and
Chairman, Hawaii State Consortium for Integrative Medicine, Honolulu,
The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of
the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse
of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage
to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or
otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents
of this material. No claims or endorsements are made for any drugs or compounds
currently marketed or in investigative use. This material is not intended as a
guide to self-medication. The reader is advised to discuss the information
provided here with a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other authorized healthcare
practitioner and to check product information (including package inserts)
regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions, and contraindications
before administering any drug, herb, or supplement discussed