Certain types of foods, including some fruits, vegetables, and drinks can cause serious side effects when mixed with medications.
In general, kale, grapefruit juice, and other healthy foods and drinks are good for you. However, mixing them with some medications can cause serious side effects, as mixing them together is a bit like throwing off a Molotov cocktail in your body.
In other words, what you take your medications with is just as important as taking them in the first place. According to a research, some foods and drinks can cause loss of medications` healing power. What is worse, they may cause severe, even fatal reactions.
Keep reading and check the following list consisting of seven foods that don’t mix well with common drugs. Note that this is only a partial list. Ask your doctor and pharmacist about possible food interactions with any other drugs you use in order to stay on the safe side. In addition, read the warnings that come with prescription medications and the fine print on over-the-counter drugs.
Kale shouldn’t be mixed with blood thinners, such as Coumadin.
Side Effects: Kale and other greens, including spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are abundant in vitamin K, nutrient that can reduce the drug`s anti-clotting effects. Eating a balanced diet with lots of greens is good for you, but make sure you consult your doctor before starting to drink a daily kale smoothie.
2. Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit juice shouldn’t be used with cholesterol drugs, such as lovastatin ( Mevacor) and atorvastatin ( Lipitor).
Side Effects: The consumption of grapefruit juice can increase the level of the drug in your bloodstream as well as to increase the risk of side effects, particularly leg pain. Both grapefruit and grapefruit juice can cause interactions with other drugs, too.
Bananas shouldn’t be mixed with ACE inhibitors which are used to treat heart failure or hypertension, such as lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil), enalapril( Vasotec), and captopril( Capoten). In addition, don’t mix bananas with diuretics used to treat hypertension and to reduce fluid retention, such as triamterene ( Dyrenium).
Side Effects: The aforementioned medications can increase the amount of potassium in your body. Too much potassium in the body can cause irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations. In brief, people who are taking these drugs should avoid large amounts of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, green leafy vegetables, oranges, and salt substitutes like Morton Lite Salt.
Walnuts shouldn’t be mixed with thyroid drugs, such as levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, Levothroid).
Side Effects: Walnuts, cottonseed meal, soybean flour, and foods rich in fiber can interfere with the absorption of those medications. In case you are following a high-fiber diet, you are likely to need a higher dosage. According to the findings of a certain study, these drugs were better absorbed when taken before going to bed in comparison to half an hour before breakfast, the usually recommended time in the instructions.
5. Black Licorice
Black licorice shouldn’t be mixed with drugs used to treat heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, such as Digoxin (Lanoxin).
Side Effects: When combined with digoxin, glycyrrhizin, a component of black licorice, may cause irregular heartbeat or even death. Mixing licorice with other drugs makes them less effective, including the birth-control pills, pain relievers, blood thinners, and blood-pressure medications. Be extra cautious if you consume a lot of licorice. However, this is applied only to the real stuff, with the exceptions of licorice-flavored items. In addition, be careful if you take licorice root supplements for heartburn.
Never mix salami with drugs used to treat bacterial infections, such as linezolid ( Zyvox) and metronidazole ( Flagyl).
Side Effects: Excessive consumption of foods that contain tyramine leads to elevated blood pressure levels. This amino acid is found in foods that are pickled, fermented, smoked, and aged such as dry sausage, processed cheeses, and anchovies. In addition, the list includes chocolate, avocados, bananas, and alcoholic beverages.
Milk shouldn’t be mixed with tetracycline antibiotics ( Sumycin).
Side Effects: Dairy foods that contain calcium, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, fortified products, and calcium supplements can interfere with absorption of the drug itself. Generally, this drug should be taken 1-2 hours before or after meals.
The warning about avoiding alcohol while taking medications is very important. Alcohol alone makes you light-headed, less coordinated and drowsy, and mixing it with certain drugs intensifies these effects. Moreover, it may cause serious health issues, such as heart problems, internal bleeding, and difficulties in breathing. Finally, alcohol makes certain drugs useless and other even toxic.