Although there are some
warning signs issued in avoiding certain foods while taking certain drugs, most people and sometimes even doctors are not aware of these
that can be dangerous.
‘Read the drug leaflet carefully before taking certain medications to avoid drug-food interactions.’
Here are some of the common
daily foods that interact with certain medications
Grapefruit Juice and Statins
It is a citrus fruit rich in vitamin C and vitamin A and contains a high amount
of antioxidant properties.
Statin drugs such as
atorvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin are used in the treatment of cholesterol
and heart diseases.
can interact with statin drugs and might
delay the absorption of the drug. Increased statin drug levels in the body
may cause serious side effects like muscle pain and in extreme cases rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of skeletal
Grapefruit may also show interaction with other drugs that include:
• Calcium Channel Blockers - Nifedipine, felodipine
• Antiallergic medications - Terfenadine, fexofenadine
• Hypnotics and Antianxiety medications - Midazolam, Alprazolam
• Cardiovascular Drugs - Amiodarone, Disopyramide, Quinidine
• Drugs used in Organ transplantation - Cyclosporin
Cranberry Juice and Anticoagulants
is a rich source of antioxidants,
vitamin C and salicylic acid. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus,
sodium and zinc are present in the fruit. It also contains vitamins like
tocopherol, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6.
is used for providing relief
from urinary tract infections, kidney stones, diabetes, stomach disorders and
helps to prevent cancers.
medications - warfarin, dabigatran
prevent blood clotting and are used
for the treatment of thrombotic disorders.
Drinking cranberry juice
while taking anticoagulant medicines can further increase bleeding,
resulting in severe gastrointestinal and heart complications.
Antibiotics and Dairy Products
is a rich source of calcium that is required for strengthening the bones. Dairy
products include cheese, butter, and yogurt.
Antibiotics are used to fight against bacterial
infections and they contain microorganisms that fight against other microorganisms in case of infections. Interaction
of certain antibiotics
like tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones with
dairy products may lead to discoloration or staining in the teeth.
This is because of
calcium complexes formed between the calcium in the milk together with the
Antibacterial Medications and Tyramine - Rich
Aged, pickled, fermented food, processed cheese, avocados,
chocolates, dry sausage are all sources of the amino acid tyramine.
which are used to treat infections
caused by bacteria should be avoided with tyramine-rich foods as it is found to
interfere with blood pressure.
Black Licorice and Heart Medications
It is the flavored extract of the licorice root. Black licorice candies often
help to relieve gastrointestinal problems and ease indigestion; it is also used
for the treatment of viral infections and respiratory ailments.
used for the treatment of heart failure
and arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms) should be avoided with black licorice.
Glycyrrhizin, present in
black licorice is a natural sweetener, capable of interacting with digoxin
and might even lead to death
Licorice is also found
to reduce the efficacy of certain medicines
like blood pressure
medications, blood thinners, pain relievers and birth control medications.
Walnuts and Thyroid Medications
a rich source of fiber and essential fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids) and
minerals like copper, molybdenum, biotin and manganese.
improve brain power, helps to control
weight, improves heart health and possess cancer-fighting properties.
High fiber containing
foods like walnuts, soybean flour can prevent the absorption of thyroxine
Blood Thinners and Spinach
a nutrient dense food which is found to be rich in vitamins, minerals and
helps to remove the toxins from
the body, fights cancer, reduces inflammation and also improves heart health.
Spinach being rich in
Vitamin K when taken along with antiplatelet drugs like aspirin and
anticoagulant drugs like warfarin
with the activity making it less effective.
It is advisable to avoid
broccoli, green leafy vegetables while taking blood thinner medications.
Bananas and Blood Pressure Medications
are well-known for their nutritional
content and a wide range of health benefits. They are found to be a rich source
of potassium and contain vitamins like Vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin,
pantothenic acid and niacin.
medications such as captopril
increases potassium in the body
and is used to lower the blood pressure.
Avoid taking bananas and
that include oranges and green leafy vegetables along with
blood pressure medications as it could increase the potassium levels
drastically in the body leading to severe complications of the heart
might cause irregular heartbeats and palpitations
How to Prevent Drug-Food Interactions
- Consult the
doctor or a health care professional about the type of food to be taken
while being under medication.
- Allow 3 hours
time interval between certain antibiotics like tetracyclines and
fluoroquinolone antibiotics while taking dairy products.
- Educate the
patient by bringing awareness about the dangerous side effects of drug -food interactions in the body.
- Avoid taking
medicines with alcohol and other drinks.
- Follow the
instructions exactly as given in the medication leaflet to prevent
dangerous drug-food interactions.
- Drug-Food Interactions -
- Don't mix your meds with these foods - (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/11/don-t-mix-your-
- Avoid Drug Food Interactions - (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/.../GeneralUseofMedicine/UCM229033.pdf%20%5Baccessed%2024July%202013)