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Cold and Flu Center

How to Take Vitamins and Cold Medicine Together

author image Elizabeth Wolfenden
Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.
How to Take Vitamins and Cold Medicine Together
Cold medicine and a vitamin on a side table next to a woman in bed. Photo Credit: kosmos111/iStock/Getty Images

If you have a cold, chances are you’d like to do whatever possible to make yourself feel better. While cold medications can provide quick relief for many common cold symptoms, certain vitamins, particularly vitamin C, might help shorten the duration of the cold a bit. Taking vitamin supplements and cold medications together is generally considered safe, but you need to consider a few factors before doing so. If you have any specific questions or concerns about taking vitamins and cold medications together, contact your doctor.

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Step 1

Find out if there could be any interactions between your vitamin supplements and cold medications. Specific interactions might vary depending on the specific product. For example, vitamin C supplements increase urination, which might decrease the elimination half-life of certain cold medications. This might make the cold medication wear off more quickly. Although mixing vitamins and cold medications is rarely unsafe, it is always wise to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking any sort of supplement and medication together at the same time.

Step 2

Determine the appropriate doses for both the vitamin supplement and cold medication. This varies depending on the specific product, so always defer to the product’s label or your doctor’s advice.

Step 3

Make a schedule to take vitamins and cold medications. Base this schedule on the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Vitamins are generally taken only once a day, while cold medication might be taken several times a day, depending on symptoms.

Step 4

Take both vitamins and cold medicine as directed, according to your schedule. The specific instructions for use vary depending on the products. Many vitamin supplements and cold medications are taken by swallowing a pill whole with a glass of water, but liquid or powder formulas might be consumed differently. Always follow the instructions that come with the product, unless you are given specific instructions to do otherwise by a doctor.

Step 5

Call a doctor if you experience any unusual physical reactions. While most side effects from vitamins or cold medications are minor and temporary, some negative side effects could occur. Always call your doctor if you are concerned about any reactions to the supplements or medication.

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