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The Pharmacist’s Responsibility in Reversing Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion

Ralitsa Simeonova, Galina Dimova, Rosi Hristova, Anna Todorova


Introduction: Аt present, it is commonly known that inadequate dietary intake can result in deficiencies of minerals and vitamins. Despite that, it is still less appreciated that pharmaceutical agents also have a negative impact on nutrients through a variety of mechanisms. Nowadays, this problem is on the rise especially for susceptible patients and/or patients on long-term medication therapy.

Materials and Methods: An analysis of scientific web databases on the problem was performed and different lessons designed for continuing education for pharmacists were reviewed. On the basis of the analyzed lessons a questionnaire was created and conducted in Varna with the objective of displaying the practicing pharmacists’ awareness of drug-induced nutrient depletion.

Results: The overview of literature resources shows that drug-induced nutrient depletion is а rising problem. Special attention when consulting at the pharmacy should be paid to geriatric, cancer patients and patients with diabetes, obese or patients on weight loss programs. Some of the most used medications that negatively impact one’s nutrient status are the following – antacids, anticonvulsants, diuretics, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, cholesterol-lowering drugs (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors), estrogen-based replacement products. Survey results show that pharmacists are very knowledgeable about the impact of antibiotics on our gastrointestinal microbiota and reversing it, but their acquaintance with the negative effects of other medications on one’s nutrient status is uncertain.

Conclusion: Living in years of deteriorated nutritional value of healthy food as well in addition to unhealthy food and chronic diseases, drug-induced nutrient depletion is an additional complication that should not be ignored. This is why, it is advisable for the studied issue to be included in future lessons for continuing education for pharmacists in Bulgaria.


drug-induced, depletion; nutrients, pharmacists, acquaintance


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