These common foods can mess with your medicine intake

It is advisable to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if there’s anything you should stay away from before taking a medication for the first time.

Many of us are aware that mixing certain drugs could have dire consequences. It is also fairly common knowledge that taking your medication with some beverages like coffee and alcohol could impact the efficacy of the drugs. But you should also know that depending on the medication, there are some common foods you should not be eating while you are medicating.

Grapefruit

This delicious citrus fruit can affect more than 50 drugs including cholesterol lowering drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor) by making some too strong or less effective, according WebMD. Dr Aaron Emmel explains:

Grapefruit contains a compound that inhibits a common drug-metabolizing enzyme called CYP3A4. Drinking a lot of the juice or eating the fruit inhibits this enzyme, and the drug accumulates in your system, which can be dangerous

Thankfully, other citrus do not trigger the same effect.

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Getty/ Aleksandr Zubkov

Milk and cheese

Some of the main minerals in diary like calcium and magnesium make it harder for your body to process certain antibiotics, according to experts at Everyday Health. It is recommended that before you start taking antibiotics, you should check with your physician to know if these products will interfere with it.

Licorice

You may have heard some people using this as a herbal remedy to aid with digestion or just to flavour their foods. However, it contains a chemical that reduces the efficacy of certain drugs like cyclosporine, which helps people who have had transplant to not reject their new organs, or Aldactone (spironolactone)—a diuretic used to treat low potassium and heart failure.

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Getty/ R.Tsubin

Chocolate

Dark chocolate is generally recommended as a healthier option to other chocolates, but it contains chemicals that can reduce the absorption of certain drugs such as those meant to help you sleep or calm down like zolpidem tartrate (Ambien). According to WebMd:

It also can boost the power of some stimulant drugs, like methylphenidate (Ritalin). And if you take an MAO inhibitor, used to treat depression, it can make your blood pressure dangerously high.

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