Certain foods can interfere with prescription medications – and many people are unaware of potential dangers. “It’s a problem that’s not on many people’s radar screens. Frankly, it’s not on many doctors’ radar screens either,” says Bethanne Brown, professor of pharmacy practice at the JL Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati. “This information can be found in the package you receive when you get your prescription from the pharmacy, but it can be lost in any written information provided.” Here are five medications that experts say shouldn’t be taken with certain foods. Read on – and to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Grapefruit juice should not be taken with certain medications, including antihistamines, statin drugs, and drugs that treat high blood pressure. “The juice allows more of the drug to get into the blood,” says Shiew Mei Huang, PhD, of the FDA. “If there’s too much drug in the blood, you can get more side effects.”
Leafy greens like spinach are high in vitamin K, which can interfere with blood thinners. Rather than avoiding these vegetables altogether, doctors recommend consistency so the body can balance a steady dose of vitamin K. “What you should try is to keep your intake of foods rich in vitamin K about the same every day,” says Fran Burke MS, RD. “For example, if you eat one serving of broccoli in one day, you should eat a serving of high-vitamin K food the next day, and so on. One serving a day, several days a week would help keep your vitamin K levels up. intake consistently.”
Bananas, salt, oranges, and green leafy vegetables should not be taken with ACE inhibitors, which are commonly prescribed to treat blood pressure or heart failure. “These foods are all high in potassium, which helps deliver electrical signals to heart muscle cells and other cells,” warns Consumer Reports. “Consuming it with the listed drugs can increase the amount of potassium in your body and can lead to an irregular heartbeat or palpitations — which can be fatal.”
“A type of antidepressant called MAOIs are dangerous when mixed with foods or drinks containing tyramine,” says Johns Hopkins Medicine. “These include beer, red wine, chocolate, cured meats, avocados, and some cheeses.”
Alcohol should never be mixed with prescription drugs, experts warn. “If you’re on antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs (like Xanax), diabetes drugs, cold and flu drugs, beta blockers, or sleeping pills. SIP – you could end up with your head in the toilet!” says registered dietitian Keri Glassman. “Also, alcohol will amplify the side effects of the drugs, from upset stomach to drowsiness. Diabetics can have episodes of low blood sugar.”
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. read more