Foods that Can Affect Your Medication
Last Edited: April 2nd, 2012

Millions of Americans take medication because of weight-related health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. But when it comes to taking certain prescription drugs, there are a few foods that can lessen or increase the potency of the active ingredients in the drug.

One of the most common items that is taken alongside medication is your coffee or tea. Because many medications are taken in the morning just as you are enjoying a routine cup of coffee, the interaction between coffee and the drug's active ingredients are a common food-medicine alert. Coffee or espresso is taken with some thyroid medications, it can lead to a reduced absorption of the medication. The effect though can be avoided by simply taking your medication at least one hour before or after enjoying your morning coffee.

Another category of food to watch out for is certain citrus fruits, like grapefruit. Even though citrus fruits are brim with Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin A and potassium, when some of them are taken in conjunction with certain medications, the drug can accumulate in your system leading to a possible overdose. Medications that carry this risk are some statin medications, certain sedatives, antihistamines and other heart medications. Birth control pills can also have a similar effect.

If you have questions about how your medications may be affected by your dietary choices, speak to your medical provider or pharmacist. You may even want to consider keeping a food journal for a few days so that your medical provider can get a feel from what your normal diet looks like, and can then make recommendations based upon your regular eating habits.

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