(GoHealthier.com) – Taking medication is a normal part of life for some of us. However, we must consider a variety of factors when taking drugs, over-the-counter or prescribed. One aspect we can easily overlook is food interactions. Some drugs work best on an empty stomach, and some are more effective with a full one. Either way, what we eat can significantly affect any medicine we might be taking, no matter when we last ate. Find out what four food-drug interactions to avoid in the rest of this article.
Most of us don’t like taking medication, to begin with, and the last thing we want is to experience an adverse reaction. We’ve all heard horror stories about two or more medications interacting with each other. However, we often overlook the fact that many common food items can significantly affect any medicine we might be taking at the moment. Let’s explore four common food-drug interactions to avoid.
Avoid These Four Potential Food-Drug Interactions.
1. Alcohol and Prescribed Stimulants
We should always take care when consuming alcohol, whether we’re taking prescription drugs or not. However, not all interactions are the same if mixing medication with your favorite cocktail or chaser.
Drinking alcohol on top of prescribed stimulants can lead a person to think they are more sober than they are. The results can range from an embarrassing situation with family, friends or co-workers to brushes with the law, injuring ourselves, or even injuring others if we get behind the wheel of a car. One might also suffer from a serious fall, depending on where and when mixing these two substances interact.
2. Dairy Products and Antibiotics
Many of us are familiar with the problems associated with dairy products. However, the reason to avoid mixing dairy and antibiotics is different than we might expect. Products derived from milk, like cheese and yogurt, can prevent or delay the absorption of antibiotics by our bodies, particularly if we take ciprofloxacin or tetracyclines.
The calcium in the products binds with antibiotics at the molecular level, creating a compound our bodies can’t break down. There’s a simple fix for this, however. Consume any dairy products at least two hours before or one hour after taking antibiotics.
3. Fruit Juices and Most Kinds of Drugs
We like to think that fruit juices are good for us, which is only partly true (they contain high levels of sugar, among other things). But here’s the thing: almost all kinds of medication are highly interactive with fruit juices, particularly grapefruit-based beverages.
Grapefruit juice alters the body’s method of metabolizing drugs, which affects the liver’s ability to filter it through our bodies. For that reason, it’s best to avoid drinking grapefruit juice for at least 1 to 2 hours before or after taking any drugs.
4. Green, Leafy Vegetables and Aspirin
Remember your mother telling you to “eat your greens” at family meals? Most of us take that advice. Greens may be high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals, but we shouldn’t mix them with aspirin because they decrease its ability to thin the blood. This is particularly important if your doctor prescribed aspirin-based drugs for heart-related conditions. You should also avoid mixing leafy greens and other food items high in Vitamin K with other anticoagulants like warfarin for the same reason.
Always ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any food-drug interactions to avoid. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly read the labels or informational packets of any medication before taking it.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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