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Calcium is a necessary mineral for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones, heart function, nerve activity and for proper blood clotting. Many conditions and diseases are treated with increased calcium intake. Always let your doctor know about any medications or supplements you take before starting a calcium supplement as mild to serious interactions can occur with some medications for blood pressure, high cholesterol, anti-seizure treatment and antibiotics 1.
The two major kinds of calcium compounds are calcium citrate and calcium carbonate, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health 1. Each compound type contains different amounts of the actual calcium element. Your stomach absorbs calcium carbonate best when taken with food, but calcium citrate is absorbed well with or without food. Dairy products, such as non-fat milk, cheese and yogurt have a high amount of calcium, and some green vegetables and other food types have smaller amounts. Many foods, such as:
- some juices
- soy milk
- bottled water are fortified with calcium
- The two major kinds of calcium compounds are calcium citrate and calcium carbonate, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health 1.
- Dairy products, such as non-fat milk, cheese and yogurt have a high amount of calcium, and some green vegetables and other food types have smaller amounts.
Ibuprofen & Calcium
Generic fluoroquinolones include ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin and enoxacin 2. Prescription information from Drugs.com states that fluoroquinolones should be taken with a full glass of water; enoxacin and norfloxacin are best taken on an empty stomach; and ciprofloxacin may be taken with a meal containing dairy products or calcium-fortified juices, but not with dairy products alone 2.
Tetracycline antibiotics should be taken on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after any calcium intake. Calcium may interfere with the absorption of tetracycline antibiotics when consumed too close together.
Does Calcium Cause Headaches?
To get the full benefit of antibiotics and to reduce your chances of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, take all antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. This includes drinking plenty of water and avoiding supplements, such as calcium, which can prohibit some antibiotics from adequate absorption 1. Some types of calcium supplements can render antibiotics ineffective 1. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best time to take your medication and calcium to get the most benefit.
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- Office of Dietary Supplements: Calcium
- Drugs.com: Fluoroquinolones
- Corliss J. Choosing a calcium supplement. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Updated October 13, 2020.
- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Calcium fact sheet for health professionals. Updated March 26, 2020.
- Chiavacci A. All about calcium supplements. Brigham Health.
- NIH National Cancer Institute. NCI drug dictionary, calcium citrate.
- Klemm S. Calcium. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Updated April 2020.
- Tankeu AT, Ndip Agbor V, Noubiap JJ. Calcium supplementation and cardiovascular risk: A rising concern. J Clin Hypertens. 2017;19(6):640-646. doi:10.1111/jch.13010
- Ilich JZ, Kelly OJ, Liu P-Y, et al. Role of calcium and low-fat dairy foods in weight-loss outcomes revisited: results from the randomized trial of effects on bone and body composition in overweight/obese postmenopausal women. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1157. doi:10.3390/nu11051157
- Wellspan Health. Calcium citrate. Updated December 13, 2017.
- John Hopkins Medicine. Calcium supplements: Should you take them?.
Norene Anderson has been a writer since 2003. She is also a registered nurse with expertise in a wide range of medical conditions and treatments. Anderson received her associate degree in nursing from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.