Saturday 29 July 2017

6 Food - Drug Interactions You Should Avoid

Food and drink intake affects the way drugs work in the body. This is usually referred to as food-drug interaction and it is defined as a change in how a medicine works caused by food, caffeine and alcohol.

Food-drug interaction, when they do occur, cause any of the following reactions:
  • Prevent a medicine from working the way it should
  • Cause a side effect from a medicine to get worse or better
  • Cause a new side effect
The way the body utilizes food can also be changed by a medicine. Anyone of these type of changes can be harmful.

Below are examples of some common, avoidable food-drug interactions.

1.  Dairy Rich Foods & Antibiotics

Foods rich in dairy products suchs as milk, chocolate (except dark chocolates), cheese and yogurt contain high amounts of calcium which binds easily to antibiotics rendering them unabsorbable and unusable by the body.

This interaction often leads to treatment failure with prescribed antibiotics. When on a course of antibiotics, it is best to avoid these type of foods to reduce the risk of treatment failure.

2.   Alcohol & Paracetamol

Paracetamol is useful in relieving mild to moderate pain, fever, cold, cramp, toothache and headache. 

However, when taken together, paracetamol causes a dangerous reaction with alcohol which could result in liver damage. Liver damage risks is higher if you take 3 or more drinks of alcohol daily. 

If you have to take paracetamol, avoid use with alcohol.

3.   Alcohol, Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) & Food

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are non-steroid drugtypes that relieve pain and associated inflammation (swelling). Examples of this type of drugs are;
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
  • Piroxicam
  • Celecoxib
They are very useful for toothache, muscle strains and sprains, menstrual pain, arthritic pain, back pain etc. 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) however upsets the stomach to varying degree and often times, are very likely to cause stomach ulcers along with stomach bleeding in a lot of people.

Taking NSAID's with food or on a full stomach causes a reduction in its ability to upset and ulcerate the stomach (this is a good thing).

Taking NSAID's with alcohol increases its ability to upset and ulcerate the stomach with an even higher risk of stomach bleeding. Avoid concormitant use together.

4.   Grapefruit/Grapefruit Juice & Statins

Statins are a class of drugs used in lowering low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the blood. Examples of statins include;
  • Simvastatin
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Atorvastatin
  • Fluvastatin
  • Pravastatin
Grapefruits and its juice contain furanocoumarin chemicals which, when taking together with statins, cause an increase in the potency of administered statin. Such increased potency would result in otherwise regularly doses of administered statin producing heightened, unexpected side effects.

Avoid concormittant use.   

5.   Food & Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors are a class of medication used in stomach acid suppression to effect healing of stomach and duodenal ulcers. Examples of proton pump inhibitors include;
  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Esomeprazole
  • Rabeprazole
Because of how they work, proton pump inhibitors perform a lot better when used 1 hour before food.  When taking together with food or after eating, acid suppression is reduced which in turn reduces the extent to which proton pump inhibitors effectively heals stomach ulcers.

6.   Coffee, Alcohol & Bronchodilators

Bronchodilators are medicines that relaxes and opens up the air passage to the lungs to relieve wheezing, shortness of breath, troubled breathing and chest tightness. Bronchodilators are used to treat breathing disorders such asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Examples of bronchodilators include;
  • Salbutamol
  • Salmeterol
  • Theophylline
  • Ephedrine
  • Epinephrine
Using bronchodilators with coffee increases the potential for side effects such as nervousness and rapid heart beat. This is a direct consequence of the caffeine present in coffee, enhancing the unwanted systemic effects of bronchodilators. Avoid concormittant use of coffee or caffeine containing foods with bronchodilators.

Alcohol increase the side effects of theophylline, so if you have to use theophylline or theophylline containing drugs, do not use together with alcohol.

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1 comment:

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