5 foods and drinks you should never take while on drugs
Some drinks and foods don’t mix with prescription drugs.
Here they are:
1. Chocolate and sleeping, depression, and anxiety pills
Dark chocolate, in particular, might reduce the effectiveness of medications used to relax or induce sleep, such as zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) for those with hyperactivity. If you take a MAO inhibitor, which is used to treat depression with chocolate, it can cause dangerously high blood pressure.
2. Dairy products and antibiotics
Calcium in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt, can inhibit drug absorption in antibiotics like tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. This compromises the medication's effectiveness in treating infections. Avoid calcium-containing meals an hour before or two hours after taking these antibiotics.
3. Grapefruit and cholesterol-lowering drugs
Grapefruit, a citrus fruit, can affect over 50 drugs in the gut, making some less effective and others too strong, especially cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin.
Eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice can inhibit an enzyme necessary for statin metabolism, increasing the risk of side effects like muscle pain. The most problematic statins are atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin, which are commonly used in cholesterol-lowering drugs.
To be safer, patients are advised to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice entirely while on statins.
4. Fruit juice and most drugs
Apple or orange juice can decrease levels of beta-blockers like Tenormin and Tekturna which prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
New-generation antihistamines for allergies can also interact with acidic juices like apple, orange, and grapefruit, affecting absorption and neutralizing the effect of these medications.
For those taking calcium channel blockers, avoid grapefruit juice, as it can render the drug ineffective. Also avoid orange fruit juice if you are on malaria drugs.
5. Alcohol and most drugs
Alcohol can impair the efficacy of drugs, weaken blood pressure and cardiac medications, or enhance their effect and produce dangerous adverse effects.
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