In case you didn’t know it, there are a number of food drug interactions that are potentially dangerous. When taken together they may increase or decrease the absorption of a medication or they may increase or decrease the drug’s levels in the blood. As you can see from the following table, there are at least six food drug combinations you should particularly watch out for and avoid.
Food Drug Interactions
|Offending Food||Interacts with||Resulting In|
|Bran Muffins, Whole Grain Cereals, and other High Fiber Foods||Antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin||Fiber slows the absorption of some antibiotics and may bind to the drugs in the intestines so that little if any of the medicine’s active ingredients are able to their job.|
|Broccoli, Cabbage, and Leafy Green Vegetables||Blood Thinners, such as Warfarin||These vegetables usually have high levels of vitamin K, and vitamin K acts as a blood clotter. So, if you eat these foods they may counteract or interfere with the medication’s abilities to thin the blood.|
|Dairy Products||Tetracycline||Calcium in dairy products supposedly reduces the medication’s absorption.|
|Grapefruit or Seville Oranges||Statin Drugs, Calcium Channel Blockers, Anti-histamines, and Tranquilizers||Grapefruit or Seville oranges and their juice seem to inhibit liver enzymes so that they cannot do their job properly. Instead of breaking the drugs down, the drugs build up in your system and may reach dangerous levels or cause dangerous side effects.|
|Tyramine-rich Foods||MAOI Anti-depressants, such as Nardail (phenelzine) or Matulane (procarbazine)||Tyramine can be found in cheese, liver, red wine, beer, and cured meats. When taken in combination with MAOI’s it has the potential to be fatal.|
|Various Foods||Zyvox (Linezolid)||Zyvox treats bacterial infections. Certain foods in combination with Zyvox can cause sudden blood pressure increases. Foods recommended to be avoided include dairy products, other than cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, as well as meat products and certain fruits and vegetables—avocados, bananas, eggplant, figs, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), mushrooms, raisins, raspberries, red plums, sauerkraut, soy beans, and tofu.|
There may also be other potential toxic combinations, so whenever you take prescription medications be sure to ALWAYS read and follow package directions or warnings. If you are unsure exactly what the directions mean, talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for clarification. If you’re interested in learning more about safety and medication labels, read Taking Medications: Misunderstanding Prescription Labels.