Ask The Trainer #115 – Combining Supplements & Rx Drugs


Hello Chad – I recently had surgery and of course the doctors want me to start a physical therapy regimen (and so do I – in fact I already do low-impact exercises).  I bought some samples of EFX products to an appointment and asked if the products were safe to take.  They really didn’t look at any of them closely although I did mention they were all natural.  The doctors advised against taking anything except for the meds in case there was some kind of reaction, but I wasn’t convinced.  So, my question is:  Is there or have there been any reports of anyone experiencing an adverse reaction when taking EFX products and prescription medications?  I think my motivation would increase if I could take the EFX product line as I expand into an exercise program using my weights. Thanks!



Hi, Douglas. That’s actually a great question. I’m glad you asked. I personally haven’t heard of anyone experiencing any adverse reactions by combining EFX Sports supplements with prescription medications, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t ever happened.

Generally, I think the risk of adverse reactions we be less with EFX Sports supplements, compared to some other supplement brands who have earned a dicey track record for lacing their products with dangerous chemicals, like hormones and stimulants.

At EFX Sports, we pride ourselves on producing the safest, purest, and most effective supplements we possibly can. Although these ingredients are beneficial and generally harmless to your average person when they are taken exclusively, or as part of a supplement stack; certain individuals may potentially experience serious adverse reactions when these otherwise harmless ingredients are combined with certain prescription medications.

Natural Supplements

For example, natural supplements like St. John’s wort, vitamin E, and Ginko Biloba are notorious for their abilities to enhance certain measures of health and well-being. However, these supplements have also been proven to react with a very wide chasm of prescription drugs. Some of these interactions are serious and life-threatening.

Furthermore, because supplements are not strictly regulated, the levels of active ingredients can vary from batch to batch. This reality can increase the potential for negative drug and supplement interactions. The greatest wildcard in this is that no two metabolisms are the same. Various supplements and drugs can affect different individuals in different many ways.

Prior to my EFX Sports days, I experienced several situations where I would purchase a particular supplement that I heard great things about. But, then I would take it and have a horrible reaction. Every time this happened I would give that supplement to a friend, and usually, they would have absolutely no problems with it whatsoever. It kind of ticked me off because some of these supplements were not cheap!

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are no different. There was a time when I was given a pain medication the doctor said would probably make me feel very tired and dopey. To my surprise, this medication had a stimulant effect instead, which had me up climbing the walls all night!

Another time I took a sleeping medication that had a similar effect on me. I guess you could say I’m one of those individuals who is more sensitive to both natural and synthetic compounds. My point here is that you really never know how your body is going to tolerate certain ingredients. Especially when they are combined with different compounds, whether they are natural or synthetic.

Another factor to consider is that our bodies change over the course of time. When I was in grade school I would have a severe allergic reaction to any drug in the penicillin family. I would break out into hives that were so ridiculous I would end up looking like the Elephant man within just a few minutes. Decades later, these types of antibiotics don’t have this effect on me anymore. Then again, I’ve known people who never had a problem with a certain medication that they had tolerated well their entire life, then out of the blue they end up having a terrible reaction to the medication and can never take it again.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you are taking a certain level of risk anytime you take a new ingredient. You never know for certain how your body will react to it. Anytime you mix that ingredient, or ingredients, with prescription drugs, you compound the risk even more. Even if you don’t experience a negative reaction combining your supplements and medications, the possibility still exists that the supplements and medications might disrupt the metabolism of one another and reduce the effectiveness of the supplements, the medications, or both.

Most supplements and medications are not cheap these days. So, it would be a shame to spend money for both, only to have them cancel each other out. Always follow the advice of your doctor and wait until you’ve finished your medications before you begin taking any supplements.

For now, my advice would be to carefully and progressively get back into an exercise regimen, taking your postsurgical limitations into consideration. Also, focus on eating lots of quality, nutrient-packed whole foods to help your body heal. Fresh meats, eggs, fruits, veggies, tubers (yams & potatoes) and a few raw nuts would serve you best at this time.

I wish you the best of success with your recovery and future health and fitness goals!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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