What you eat and drink can affect the way your medicines work. Therefore, whatever drugs you’re taking whether prescription or non-prescription medication, it’s important to try and avoid food and drug interactions.
Read the label and or printed information carefully
Most nonprescription products come with printed information on the package. Prescription drugs also usually come with information fact sheets and may have warning stickers on their packaging. Drug information is also available at the websites of the drug company.
Avoid mixing medication with food
You can only mix medication with food if your doctor has advised you to. Minerals or acids in certain foods can alter some drug ingredients. Furthermore, breaking apart pills of dissolving them can also destroy special coatings that protect your stomach or the medication or that allow for slow information absorption.
Do not mix medicine with hot beverages
The heat in hot beverages can destroy or alter drug ingredients
Avoid consuming grapefruit with medication
This includes grapefruit juice. A substance in grapefruit and it’s juice can alter the effects of a number of drugs sometimes causing a build-up of medication which can become toxic. One example is atorvastatin for high cholesterol.
Alcohol is a no-go area
Alcohol has the tendency to increase or reduce a drug’s effects or increase side effects.
Speak to your doctor about the supplements you’re taking
You have to avoid taking mineral supplements, vitamin or antacids at the same time with any other medication unless your doctor approves. Some nutrients can bind with drug ingredients reducing their absorption and limiting their effectiveness. Furthermore, numerous verbal and other dietary supplements have interactions with medications and scientists are yet to test others thoroughly for interactions. So, while you are on medication always check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any supplements even if they are natural.
Listen to your doctor’s instructions
Some medications are absorbed better with food to help reduce the risk of stomach upset or irritation. Other medications may be absorbed better when taken with a full glass of water an hour or two before meals. Therefore it’s important to follow your doctors or pharmacists instructions.
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