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Nora Saul, MS, RD, LDN, CDE

Manager, Nutrition Services
Joslin Diabetes Center
Boston, MA

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Calcium and Medication Interaction

Ask the Expert


Can I take my calcium (1,200 mg) together with other medications? Can I take my calcium with coffee?


Calcium, along with adequate vitamin D, promotes maintenance of strong bones and teeth. It also facilitates muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Consuming adequate calcium daily can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Adult women require between 1,000 and 1,200 mg each day.

Caffeine has a small negative effect on calcium retention. If milk is used in coffee, retention of calcium is decreased. However, if you have a high caffeine intake and do not consume adequate calcium, then the effect of taking your calcium supplement with coffee can be exacerbated.

Calcium can influence the way your body absorbs other medications when taken together. For example, calcium should not be taken with tetracycline because the calcium can bind to the tetracycline and make it unavailable to your body, so it wouldn't be used effectively. If you take multiple medications with your calcium supplement, talk with your health care provider about possible interactions.

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