Drug Interactions – When Do Healthy Foods Hurt You?
Whenever we’re forced into a round of antibiotics, we get a long list of do’s and do not’s from the pharmacy. Sometimes they even want to talk to us about proper use of the medications. We’re also supposed to disclose any supplements or over-the-counter medications we may be taking. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include some of the quiet killers that can interact with our drugs – food products! From alcohol to grapefruit, here’s a list of some of the most interesting interaction culprits that don’t require a prescription.
Believe it or not, grapefruit juice is linked to several near-fatal consequences on a regular basis. According to the New York Times, there are now 85 drugs on the market that can be markedly affected by the consumption of grapefruit juice, but a lot of people have never even heard of these potential effects! Drugs treating cancer, AIDS, diabetes, infections, inflammation, migraines, cardiovascular distress, urinary tract infections and more are shown to have very serious interactions with grapefruit juice. In many cases, it multiplies the effectiveness of the drugs, leading to what is essentially a dangerous overdose.
It’s pretty rare that you’re told NOT to eat leafy greens when something is ailing you; however, dark leafy greens are very high in vitamin K, which happens to help your blood clot. If you’re taking blood thinners, an excessive amount of vitamin K can interact with the drugs, making them less effective at thinning your blood.
Believe it or not, there are many antibiotics that lose their effectiveness when paired with calcium-rich dairy products. If you’re taking quinolones-based antibiotics, which are commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis, calcium can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb the medication. Make sure you watch your dairy intake and find out if your medication is made using quinolones!
High in vitamin C, most people turn to oranges and orange juice to help battle their cold. If it’s just a cold, oranges might help, but if you happen to pair that orange juice with antacids or aspirin, you might not like the results. High amounts of vitamin C can change the way your body absorbs metals found in antacids, and decrease the body’s ability to expunge aspirin. Additionally, if you’re on prescription drugs for heart problems, vitamin C can reduce its effectiveness, and can also help feed cancer cells!