When the doctors prescribe you a certain drug, they strictly observe it when it comes to the doses that you are allowed to take and the time when you need to take them. They also monitor the diet of the patient for the purposes of the treatment.
There are, however, some food combinations that you should never mix with prescribed drugs, because these combinations may lead to some dangerous side-effects.
- Bronchial spasmolytics (drugs that treat asthma, bronchitis and other lung diseases)
Drugs: albuterol, theophylline
Do not mix with: drinks and foods that contain caffeine.
These drugs stimulate the nervous system, so you need to avoid caffeine because, in a combination with these drugs, it can cause anxiety. Also, take extra caution when it comes to theophylline because the caffeine can increase its toxic properties. Also, reduce foods that contain lots of fat, because it will increase the bioavailability of theophylline, which may cause an overdose.
- Drugs that reduce the levels of bad cholesterol
Drugs: fluvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, atorvastatin.
Do not mix with: grapefruit
Grapefruit will multiply the effects of these drugs which will increase the risk of overdose and side effects. The same can be said for other acidic fruits like Seville orange or lime.
- Antihypertensive drugs (for kidney and heart problems)
Drugs: enalapril, captopril, Ramipril
Do not mix with: foods that are rich in potassium
These drugs will increase the levels of potassium in your blood, and if you mix them with foods that contain potassium, you can put yourself at risk of dyspnea and arrhythmia. This means that you need to avoid potatoes, spinach, soybeans, and bananas when you are taking these drugs.
- Anti-arrhythmic drugs (for heart problems)
Do not mix with: licorice
Licorice is packed with acids that when combined with this drug, may result in heart attack. Licorice is a substance that is present in beer, cakes, and sweets. Herbs like senna, or St. John’s Wort, can reduce the effectiveness of this drug. Dietary fibers can also reduce its effectiveness, so you need to take Digoxin at least two hours after or before your meals.
- Medications that thin the blood and prevent blood clots
Do not mix with: foods that are packed with vitamin K, and foods that can thin your blood.
It is important to know that when you are taking this drug, you need to reduce the intake of garlic, ginger, cranberry, and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and pepper. These foods will make your blood thinner, and in a combination with warfarin, it may cause bleeding. Vitamin K, on the other hand, reduces the effectiveness of the drug. It is a vitamin that can be found in the spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and beets.
- Thyroid hormones
Do not mix with: fibers, chestnuts, and soybeans
People that take this drug, need to avoid soy, and soy-based foods because these foods block the efficacy of the drug. High-fiber foods like chestnuts also have similar effects.
- Antibiotics (for bacterial infections)
Drugs: tetracycline, penicillin, ciprofloxacin
Do not mix with: milk products
When milk products and these drugs combine, they can form a calcium compound that will sharply decrease the effectiveness of the drugs.
Do not mix with: soft drinks
Ibuprofen must not be mixed with soft drinks because these drinks contain acids and carbon dioxide which can increase the absorption of the drugs and raise their concentration in the blood. This can result in an uncontrolled dosage, which will lead to the increase of the levels of toxins in the kidneys.
Drugs: All inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (phenelzine, tranylcypromine, nialamide)
Do not mix with: foods that are rich in tyramine.
Antidepressants include monoamine oxidase inhibitors, that when mixed with tyramine, can lead to a critical increase in the blood pressure. Tyramine is an amino acid which is formed in the aging process of foods that are rich in proteins. It can be found in old fish or meat, canned meat, dry sausages and old cheese.