How Supplements Can Affect Mental Health

The U.S. houses a vast market of supplements and vitamins to promote a healthy, fulfilling life. Unfortunately, supplements do not have to live up to the standards of medications as set forth by the Food and Drug Administration. This results in many people taking supplements without understanding their risks and potential interactions with other medications. Additionally, supplements might cause complications with medical and mental health conditions, and many ordinary products might contain supplements.


Before starting any supplement or vitamin regimen, always consult with your physician. You can open the dialogue with your doctor by understanding these points.

Dangers of taking supplements

Depending on your plan of care for mental health rehabilitation, supplements can cause serious complications. If you receive drug addiction treatment, or alcohol addiction treatment, the use of supplements could impede the effectiveness of medication treatment. For example, oxycodone treatment, which treats the withdrawal symptoms of opioids, should not be taken with melatonin, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. Melatonin is a hormone that prepares the body to sleep, and it might intensify the effects of opioids remaining in the bloodstream. As a result, you will be at an increased risk for extreme drowsiness, inability to concentrate and irritability, especially if you do not go to sleep immediately.

If you take antidepressants, such as Prozac and other SSRIs, melatonin reduces the effectiveness of the medications. If you take antipsychotics for schizophrenia, such as Seroquel, you may develop tardive dyskinesia.

Supplements not only interact with medications for mental health treatment, they can also cause serious complications when used in conjunction with other medications. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, anticoagulants and chemotherapy drugs could interact severely with supplements. In many cases, this is because of reductions in the bloodstream levels of each medication. However, some supplements, especially vitamin C and calcium, can intensify the effects of medications, which could result in difficulty breathing, hemorrhage from minor cuts or chest pains. Furthermore, too much of one supplement can cause toxic levels of the supplement to build up in the body, which is similar to a drug overdose.

What are supplements found in?

Supplements include any sort of over-the-counter dietary, herbal or supplemental vitamins, which are geared toward providing a natural alternative to taking traditional medications. Since supplements are not regulated by the FDA, the standards for manufacturing them can have much more, or less, of the respective supplement within each pill, elixir, or tablet. For example, you can consume a large amount of vitamin D if you drink several glasses of whole milk per day. Some teas include melatonin and supplements. If you take medications for mental health treatment, thoroughly read the ingredients on any food or beverage to ensure it does not contain supplements you should avoid.

As a responsible patient, you need to know how supplements could affect your health. Whether you are receiving mental health treatment, drug addiction treatment, alcohol addiction treatment or any other treatment at behavioral health facilities, you should always be aware of what you are putting into your body. Above all else, always check with your physician before taking any sort of supplement regimen. In some cases, supplements can benefit you, but you do not want to take the risk for developing complications.