June 20, 2009
There's a lot that demands your attention when you're managing medications for yourself or another person – including administering medications correctly and avoiding interactions.
It's not something talked about much, but interactions between food and medications can be dangerous. As a caregiver, talk to your doctor before making any changes to medications or diet.
The food-medication interactions below include both common medications - for blood pressure, for instance - and common food ingredients, like calcium or grapefruit.
Don't take MAO inhibitors - such as Marplan ® or Eldepryl ® - with foods that contain tyramine. The combination can cause extremely high blood pressure, fever, and in rare circumstances, death. These foods include:
Taking medications such as warfarin, Coumadin ®, or Jantoven ® in combination with large portions of foods high in vitamin K - such as leafy greens - may cause the medication to be less effective. Eat these foods moderately and consistently to provide maximum medication effectiveness.
Avoid taking massive doses of Tylenol and Tylenol-containing products with alcohol, as it may result in liver toxicity. Avoid taking metronidazole for infections with alcohol, which may result in flushing, vomiting, and increased heart rate.
Studies have shown that mixing certain medications with grapefruit juice can cause dangerously high blood levels, which leads to an increase of potentially life-threatening side effects. These medications include
When taking ACE-inhibitors like Altace ® or lisinopril and potassium diuretics - such as spironolactone or triamterene - be careful when eating foods rich in potassium such as bananas, apricots, raisins, and lima beans. The combination causes the body to retain too much potassium.
Taking osteoporosis medications and some antibiotics with calcium fortified foods and drinks such as milk, orange juice, bread or antacids will make the medications less effective. Be sure to take your medication two hours before or four hours after eating calcium-rich foods and drinks.
Taking osteoporosis medications and some antibiotics with calcium-fortified foods and drinks such as milk, orange juice, bread or antacids will make the medications less effective. Be sure to take your medication two hours before or four hours after eating calcium-rich foods and drinks. Aspirin and other over-the-counter pain medications taken without food can cause stomach bleeding.
Aspirin and other over-the-counter pain medications taken without food can cause stomach bleeding.