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Foods That Affect Your Medicine

Foods That Affect Your MedicineSome things just don’t mix well. But what you eat or drink can affect how some drugs you take work. You may not find time to read medical information that details contraindications, but you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if there’s anything you should avoid.

Grapefruit- This citrus changes the way certain cells in your intestine take in and move medication through your body. It can affect more than 50 drugs. It can make some less effective and make others too strong.

Milk- Milk can make it harder for your body to process certain antibiotics. Minerals in milk like calcium and magnesium are part of the reason, along with the protein casein. If you’re taking antibiotics, make sure to find out about the foods or beverages you should stay away from.

Chocolate- Dark chocolate in particular can weaken the effects of drugs meant to calm you down or make you sleep. It also can boost the power of some stimulant drugs. And if you take some antidepressants, chocolate can make your blood pressure dangerously high.

Iron supplement- This can lower the effects of medicines used to treat hypothyroidism—when your body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone. If you take this medication and a multivitamin, check to see if the vitamin has iron in it.

Alcohol- This makes certain drugs less effective or even useless, including some blood pressure and heart medicines. It also can make others stronger than they should be or cause dangerous side effects.

Coffee- It can weaken antipsychotic drugs like lithium and clozapine, but boost the effects — and side effects — of others. Those include aspirin, epinephrine (used to treat serious allergic reactions), and albuterol (taken by inhaler for breathing problems). It can also make it harder for your body to take in and use iron.

Antihistamines- These help with the sneezing and runny nose caused by allergies, but some of them can make medication for high blood pressure less effective and raise your heart rate. Talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your allergies if you take blood pressure medicine.

Anti-epileptic drug. (EDs)- These control seizures in people who have epilepsy. But AEDs can make birth control pills less able to prevent pregnancy, and early research shows they may make other drugs stronger and cause potentially serious side effects.

Vitamin K. If you take the drug warfarin — used to treat and prevent blood clots — be aware of how much vitamin K you take in. It can make the blood thinner less effective and put you at higher risk of a dangerous blood clot. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, parsley, and spinach are some of the most common foods high in vitamin K. Try to eat the same amount of these foods every day so the level of warfarin in your blood stays the same.

Ginseng. This can lower the effects of warfarin, too. And it can make you more likely to have internal bleeding if you take the blood thinners heparin or aspirin, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen. With some antidepressants, ginseng can cause headaches, sleep problems, hyperactivity, and nervousness.

Daily Trust

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