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jca's avatar

How do I take a multivitamin that makes me throw up because it's so gross?

Asked by jca (28612 points ) June 15th, 2011

I have these B-12 multivitamins and the past two times I took it, I threw up. It kind of has an acid taste, like citrus. The first time, there was no food in my stomach and I retched into the kitchen sink. I saw that the bottle suggests taking it with food. Today I tried by eating some peach about an hour before, and then had a marshmallow right before. I took the pill and then ate about 10 Cheese-Its. About 5 minutes later I threw up.

How can I take a multi-vitamin and keep it down?

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38 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

How is a B12 vitamin a multivitamin? Is it B12 or a multivitamin?

jca's avatar

I went to get the bottle so I can write down exactly what it says. I was mistaken, it’s not a B-12, it’s “B-100 Hi Energy Complex wtih Advanced Amino Acid Blend.” It has over 100% of Vit C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vit B6, Folate, Vit B-12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Selenium and Copper. It’s from Costco.

JLeslie's avatar

Just 100% of each thing?

Facade's avatar

Maybe use applesauce or pudding to take it to mask the taste? I do that with all my pills because it makes it easier to swallow, but I think it would work for you too.

funkdaddy's avatar

If it’s acidic, maybe eat something not as acidic with it to help out. I’m thinking the peach probably doesn’t do much to stabilize your stomach.

Try a piece of bread, or just take it at meal time.

gailcalled's avatar

Marshmallows and Cheese-Its are not consider food, ever. Try a few plain crackers if you need to snack rather than eat properly.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: that’s exactly it. It has more than 100% of most things, but 50% of iron.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled But those things would count in protecting her tummy if a vitamin or med is irritating to her stomach.

jca's avatar

That’s why I took them. I figured marshmallow is heavy and will sit there. Cheese Its are like crackers, I thought.

JLeslie's avatar

I am “allergic” to equal the sugar substitute which is made from amino acids, I wonder if you are reacting to that part of the vitamin pill? The thing is, it could be any ingredient in the pill. Maybe you just can’t take that brand? It isn’t enough iron to upset your stomach. Many people get upset stomach from iron, But 9 mg is nothing. Maybe try a different brand and just a regular multi with lower doses.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I can take Equal, Splenda and other sugar substitutes. I think I will try another brand and see what happens. I purchased a “cheapo” vitamin from Walmart (on vacation, out of desperation) and I didn’t have any ill effects.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, I think it is just one of those things. Maybe you can return it?

lonelydragon's avatar

First, try eating a square meal beforehand and then take the vitamin. If that doesn’t work, you could try taking gummy vitamins for adults. They would probably be less irritating.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I think I will.

@lonelydragon: Gummies are something to think about. I may try that.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, by the way, I just read what you wrote at the top again. With food means with food. Your stomavh starts dumping food outof your stomach within about 20 minutes of eating, so a small amount of food is gone by the time you took the pill an hour later. If you take the pill first, and then the food 5 minutes later, it might be too late already, and the stomach is already irritated. With food means literally the food needs to be in the stomach organ at the same time as the pill.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I echo @JLeslie‘s last post. Take the vitamin half way through the meal. Then your stomach will not be empty.

creative1's avatar

If your having that much trouble and really need to take it for medical reasons, your doctor can give you a shot of it

SpatzieLover's avatar

The best way would be after a meal, or if you’re the forgetful type, during the meal. The best thing to take a pill with if you have this type of reaction is to have a serving of yogurt/cottage cheese or a decent amount of protein first.

JLeslie's avatar

I disgree with @SpatzieLover. Dairy inhibits absorption. Especially with certain medications, so always check your prescriptions to see if it warns against taking with dairy.

Rarebear's avatar

Why take the multivitamin if it makes you throw up? Just don’t take it. Get your vitamins out of your food.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Did your doctor tell you that you were deficient in B vitamins, or is this something you decided on your own because you need more energy?

You said more than 100% of most things but the label says:
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 100 mg – 6667%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 100 mg – 5882%
Niacin 100 mg – 500%
Vitamin B6 100 mg – 5000%
Vitamin B12 100 mcg – 1667%
Pantothenic Acid 100 mg – 1000%

Those kinds of numbers don’t sound beneficial.

JLeslie's avatar

@Rarebear Just curious, do you regularly do blood tests to check pts vitamins and minerals? I only ask because so many people I know, especially women, are deficient in more than one. My endocrinologist says tons of her pts are low in D. I know there is an argument in the medical community about how much that matters. Anyway, I only ask, becuse so many of my friends have these things tested because they see specialists, meaning they have other things wrong with them, so maybe they are more likely to have low B12 or D for example. So, I wondered if your seemingly healthy patients actually come up low when they come in for a check up? I think my perspective on these things is probably a little warped. Although, my low b12 was discovered by my primary care doctor, because he always tests for it. Iron was always found as part of my CBC being whacked, my current GYN tests iron specifically as part of her check up. I just see a lot of people not getting enough vitamins and minerals from food. I think it is almost impossible to get enough D just from food. That’s why we have the sun.

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie: You link has a number of comments below the text that describe severe nausea as a side effect. Sounds like a pill to avoid.

@jca: Read the comments and be advised.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I did not even read that. I just looked at the pills content. I agree with you. It sees like @jca is going to dump that pill anyway from what she said above.

Rarebear's avatar

@JLeslie Occasionally I’ll check B12 levels if someone has a macrocytic anemia. There is a lot of research on Vitamin D but none of it is conclusive yet.

jca's avatar

For those who are curious why I was trying to take the multi-vitamin, I had weight loss surgery and cannot get all of the vitamins I need from food. Swallowing the pill is not a problem, as I can eat solid food and I can swallow other pills, and the other pills don’t make me sick.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Ahhh..that explains a lot more to me @jca. I would recommend liquid vitamins for better absorption. I can recommend some, but my best advice really is to get the highest quality, purest formula you can. Generally, vitamins labeled “Vegan” are the purest sources. They generally aren’t processed in plants with known food allergens (corn, gluten, dairy, shellfish-etc).

Rarebear's avatar

@jca Then you have a good clinical reason to take the multivits. I was just wondering as many people take vitamins just to take them.

Just try a different brand, or children’s chewable.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Rarebear It’s better for her to try a different brand. Avoid taking a children’s chewable. Children’s vitamins are not made for adult needs. There’s not enough potency in children’s vitamins for adults.

And because she’s a woman, it’s better for her to take a multi-vitamin for women, as women have different requirements than men.

My wife takes a women’s vitamin, with iron, and I take a men’s vitamin, which is loaded with selenium and zinc, and completely lacking in iron.

JLeslie's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES She can take the childrens, and either double the dose or also add in specific vitamins she needs in larger doeses. I take children’s sometimes and just take a separate, iron, D and B12. The doses for multivitamins are not much different children to adult. The big difference can be iron, even with adult you have to watch for iron dose. By the way @Rarebear is a doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Here is Flintstones You’ll see the recommendations are the same for adults and children over the age of 4. Only a few nutrients come up very short in the supplement.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve come across so many doctors who have given me the wrong or bad advice, they’re usually the ones I question the most.

jca's avatar

Someone showed me a multi-vitamin she got from CVS, which was a generic CVS brand, that listed 100% of the daily recommendation for most vitamins, and was small with red coating. It had 90% of the day’s iron, no amino acids and I may try it. I may also try a gummy. I think Costco has a gummy for adults. I have to check.

JLeslie's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Well, @Rarebear can tell you how I am so similar to you in arguing with doctors and not always trusting their knowledge. But, on this, doses of vitamins and minerals in multis, 100% is 100%. As I said, if you look at the labels, childrens and adult are the same dose unless under 5 years old. However, I think many adults need more than 100% of the recommended amount for certain nutrients. The way you adressed @rarebear it seemed to me you were not aware he was a doctor, so I was just letting you know.

@jca If you are taking in much less nutrition, very few calories, you probably need more than just 100% but it is a good start for now until you have some blood tests run to check for common dificiencies. I would think your surgeon runs follow up tests regarding this and has recommendations? I take around 55,000 IU’s of D per week, the RDA recommendation is 2,800 IU’s a week. I take about 100 mg of iron a day. The 100% recommended for menstruating women is 18 mg. I take those doses only because I have blood tests to prove I need the high doses, I am not saying megadose anything. I am only saying sometimes the RDA recommendation is extremely insufficient.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@JLeslie No problem. The fact that he’s a doctor or not doesn’t matter to me at all. I talk to doctors like I do with any other people. That way, I can distinguish the good ones from the inferior ones, and there are a lot of the latter out there, who don’t know much despite their “Dr.” title, unfortunately.

Good day my friend. ;)

JLeslie's avatar

I consider @Rarebear one of the good ones.

Rarebear's avatar

Thanks. @JLeslie is correct. Just look at the labels and the milligram dosages. If you want more, just take an extra. They’re pretty harmless in low doses. It’s only when you get to megadoses (especially of the fat soluble vitamins) that things get harmful.

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