What you need to know before you take a supplement

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees dietary supplements, but there is no mandatory safety testing or FDA approval before a new supplement hits the market. Additionally, there are no regulations requiring dietary supplement packaging to disclose potential adverse effects, and there are no standards for maximum pill size, posing a risk, especially for older individuals.

Health care providers may overlook asking patients about over-the-counter or natural dietary supplements, potentially missing connections between patients’ symptoms and these products.

While some dietary supplements can be beneficial due to their active ingredients, they can also lead to unwanted effects like elevated blood pressure or digestive symptoms. To safely approach the use of dietary supplements, individuals must adopt a comprehensive self-care strategy, staying informed about any supplement, whether natural, herbal, or non-drug.

For those taking such supplements, it’s crucial to read safety labels, consult with a pharmacist, doctor, or nurse to ensure compatibility with other medications, and promptly seek medical advice if concerning symptoms arise after supplement use.


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