Should I avoid certain foods while taking meds?
There are some food-drug interactions that can occur when you eat food while taking certain meds. For example, milk can interfere with some antibiotics and you may want to avoid bananas and other high potassium foods if you’re taking meds for high blood pressure or diuretics for excess fluid retention. “Eating foods high in potassium can increase the risk of irregular heartbeat or palpitations because they increase the amount of potassium in your body,” says Jeremy Allen, MD, the medical director for American Family Care‘s Birmingham, Alabama region. Other well-known interactions include grapefruit juice with statins and overloading on vitamin K or cranberries with blood thinners, such as, Warfarin. For more information on food interactions, check out this booklet published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Can I still have a glass of wine when I’m taking meds?
Will one drink really hurt? Drinking alcohol when you don’t take meds changes things in your body—there’s the buzz factor, drowsiness, possible hangovers, changes in your blood sugar, and more. Drinking alcohol will increase the instance of side effects with certain meds. For example, you could become very drowsy if you sip wine and take allergy meds. Tyramine, a component found in many alcoholic beverages as a result of the fermentation process, can a cause sudden, unsafe increase in your blood pressure if you’re taking meds such as antibiotics, antipsychotics, antifungals, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). “In cases of some antibiotics and antifungals, alcohol intake can also cause nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, flushing and headaches,” says Dr. Allen.