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7 Things That Can Affect How Your Medications Work

Category: Healthy Living

7 Things That Can Affect How Your Medications Work

Did you know some medications cannot be taken together because they’ll counteract each other? This isn’t all; what you eat or drink can also have an effect on some drugs, too.

Here are a few of them.

1. Grapefruit

This citrus fruit changes the way certain cells in your gut take in and move medication through your body — it can affect more than 50 drugs. It can make some, like fexofenadine (Allegra) for allergies, less effective and make others too strong.

2. Milk

This can make it harder for your body to process certain antibiotics. Minerals in milk like calcium and magnesium are part of the reason, along with the protein casein. If you’re taking antibiotics, make sure to find out about the foods or beverages to avoid.

3. Dark Chocolate

This can weaken the effects of drugs meant to calm you down or make you sleep, like zolpidem tartrate (Ambien). It also can boost the power of some stimulant drugs. And if you take an MAO inhibitor, used to treat depression, it can increase your blood pressure.

4. Alcohol

This makes certain drugs less effective or even useless, including some blood pressure and heart medicines. It also can make others stronger than they should be or cause dangerous side effects.

5. Coffee

It can weaken antipsychotic drugs like lithium but boost the effects — and side effects — of others. Those include aspirin, epinephrine (used to treat serious allergic reactions), and albuterol (taken by inhaler for breathing problems).

6. Vitamin K

If you take the drug warfarin — used to treat and prevent blood clots — be aware of how much vitamin K you take in. It can make the blood thinner less effective and put you at higher risk of a dangerous blood clot. Broccoli, and spinach are also high in vitamin K.

  • Bananas and other potassium-rich foods

Bananas, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, etc are rich in potassium. However, you could end up with too much potassium if you eat bananas while taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, like lisinopril or captopril.

Moral of the story: don’t self-medicate.

Only about 50% of medication is taken as it’s prescribed. People often take less than they need, take it at random times, or leave big gaps between doses — all of which can weaken the effects.

Always ensure you understand your treatment plan and follow your doctor’s instructions.

Also read: 5 Medical Tests You Should Have Before Marriage

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