If you are taking any type of prescription medication, chances are you’re aware of the other medications and supplements that can cause negative interactions that affect the potency of your prescription. However, you may not be well versed on the foods that you should avoid eating while taking certain types of prescription drugs. Here’s a look at which foods you should watch out for if you take medications.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is the most common culprit for food-medication interactions. Grapefruit and a few less commonly seen citrus fruits contain furanocoumarins, which can disrupt cholesterol medications like statins, blood pressure medications, and heart rhythm medications. It doesn’t take much grapefruit to affect the potency of these medications, so you should be careful to read ingredient labels and recipes thoroughly.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi contain tyramine, which is known to raise blood pressure. This can be a harmful effect for individuals taking MAOIs, which are commonly prescribed as anti-depressants and for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Milk and Calcium-Rich Foods

If you’re taking an antibiotic, your doctor may warn you to stay away from milk, yogurt, and other dairy products. That’s because calcium can bond to certain antibiotics and make them impossible to absorb in the small intestine, thus rendering them ineffective.

Alcohol 

While not technically a food, alcohol can be a dangerous mixer for a wide range of medications. With certain antibiotics and antidepressants, alcohol can make you sick to your stomach. Prescription stimulants and alcohol are also a bad mix, because stimulants can prevent you from realizing how intoxicated you are after consuming an alcoholic beverage.

Whenever you need to check in with a doctor about safely utilizing your medications—or if you need care for a drug-food interaction—connect with MeMD. We provide prompt, affordable care through online consultations with board-certified medical providers licensed to practice in your state.

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