Medication that increases the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency

The following drugs impair the absorption of vitamin B12 in various ways:

Drug Reason for use
Proton pump inhibitors: Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Nexium, Aciphex, Omeprazole Heartburn/gastritis
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux)
Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
H. pylori infection
H2-blockers: Zantac, Tagamet, Axid, Pepcid Heartburn/gastritis
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux)
Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
Antacids: Alternagel, Maalox, MOM, Mylanta, Riopan, Tums Heartburn/gastritis
Acid indigestion
Peptic ulcer disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Hiatal hernia
Biguanides: Metformin, Glucophage, Riomet, Fortamet, Glumetza, Obimet, Dianben, Diabex, Diaformin, Glucovance Diabetes
K-Lor, K-Lyte, Klotrix, K-Dur, Micro-K, Slow-K, potassium chloride Potassium deficiency- often prescribed for patients with congestive heart failure, kidney failure or cirrhosis of the liver, and for patients who receive diuretics (“water pills”) such as Lasix, Bumex or hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
Colchicine gout
Questran Elevated cholesterol levels
Neomycin infections
Para-aminosalicylic acid tuberculosis
Source: Could it be B12? – Sally M. Pacholok & Jeffrey J. Stuart, pages 53-54


Only because these medications may inhibit or limit vitamin B12 absorption does not mean you should stop taking these drugs. It is, however, advisable to start supplementing vitamin B12.

Medication that is sometimes misprescribed for vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

If you were prescribed any of the following drugs, you could be suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency diagnosed as a different disease. If a vitamin B12 deficiency is not addressed correctly, this can create an irreversible or even life-threatening situation.

Drugs Commonly prescribed for
Celexa, Effexor, Elavil, Nardil, Pamelor, Paxil, Prozac, Serzone, Sinequan, Tofranil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft Depression
Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Paxil, Serax, Tranxene, Valium, Xanaz Anxiety and panic disorder
Viagra, Xialis, Levitra Erectile dysfunction
Aricept, Cognex, Namenda, Exelon, Reminyl Dementia
Antivert Dizziness, imbalance, and vertigo
Detrol, Ditropan, Levbid Incontinence
Compazine, Geodon, Haldol, Navane, Risperdal, Stelazine, Tegretol, Thorazine Psychosis
Ambien, Dalmane, Halcion, Restoril Insomnia
Cylert, Ritalin Fatigue
Diamox, Inderal, Mysoline, Symmetrel Tremors
Elavil, Neurontin, Tegretol Numbness and tingling
Folic acid (folate), Folvite, apo-folic acid (folate is a dietary supplement that is often given to alcoholics and patients that do not get healthy nutrition, and is also used to diminish stomach cancer risk or treat elevated homocysteine levels)(addition: folic acid and vitamin B12 use each other to function properly within the body, if you take folic acid without extra vitamin B12, you can develop a B12 deficiency) Fatigue
Source: Could it be B12? – Sally M. Pacholok & Jeffrey J. Stuart, pages 54-55


If you take any of these drugs, it is strongly recommended ruling out a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Questions and Support:

Experience expert Contact: Lavinia Bijl