When you take your medications, do you reach for a glass of juice or milk thinking you might as well get some nutrition along with the medicine?
Stop! Take caution. You may actually be degrading the medication or creating a toxic overdose.
Some citrus fruits and juices can affect the absorption of a drug’s active ingredients from your gastrointestinal tract. And the calcium in dairy foods can inhibit the absorption of certain drugs, including some antibiotics, making them less effective.
Investigators have found that grapefruit, orange and apple juices reduce the absorption of the anticancer drug etoposide, certain blood pressure medication, some antibiotics, and others. Grapefruit juice in particular has been identified as potentially causing harm by interacting with drugs in a way that raises blood concentration of the medication to dangerous levels. It is known to affect about 50 drugs, ranging from cholesterol-lowering statins to Viagra. Some drugs now carry labels warning consumers against taking them with grapefruit juice or fresh grapefruit.
Calcium in milk can interfere with the effectiveness of thyroid medication. Wait at least four hours after taking a medication before drinking any calcium-rich beverages.
Caffeine can pose a serious health threat when taken with stimulants. Avoid coffee when taking appetite suppressants, asthma prescriptions, and amphetamines.
Skip a glass of wine at dinner when taking antidepressants; the combination can cause hypertension, headaches, fast heart rate, and stroke.
There’s one safe solution: Take your pills with water!