Some medicines are recommended to be taken on an empty stomach, while others are taken during or after a meal. These recommendations aim to ensure that the effect of the drug is maximized and side effects are minimized. However, few people take into account the impact of the food and beverages we consume on the way drugs work. And that influence can be quite significant.
For example, a recent study by scientists from the Medical College of Wisconsin (USA) showed that with the presence of certain artificial sweeteners, the body metabolizes certain drugs in different ways, including antibiotics, antidepressants and antivirals, resulting in toxins accumulate in the liver.
And this is far from the only example of how the ingredients that make up our food make drugs more or less toxic, enhance or weaken their effect. Here are some of the foods and beverages we are talking about first:
1. Citrus juices, especially grapefruit juice
Which drugs work? at least 85 different medicines, including midazolam (a benzodiazepine commonly used as a sedative before medical procedures), sertraline (antidepressant), statins (including simvastatin and atorvastatin), anildabil (sildenafil) medicines to lower blood pressure). ).
What happens: Many drugs are metabolized in the intestines and liver by the enzyme CYP3A4, which normally reduces the amount of active substance that enters the bloodstream. Citrus juices contain furanocoumarins, compounds that interact with CYP3A4, disrupting its function. As a result, more active substance is absorbed into the bloodstream than expected, which can lead to a dangerous increase in concentration.
For example, a glass of grapefruit juice that you drink with a drug can increase the level of the drug in the blood by 200%, and instead of a therapeutic effect, you will have a toxic effect.
In addition, the condition is exacerbated by the fact that due to the blockade of the enzyme CYP3A4, the liver does not remove the drug from the body much more than usual, which further increases its toxicity.
As a result, adverse effects such as muscle damage with statins, sildenafil priapism, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and insomnia with sertraline, excessive midazolam suppression, dangerous drop in blood pressure, palpitations, dizziness, and dizziness. taking calcium channel blockers.
What to do: It is safer not to drink citrus juices, especially grapefruit juice, and not to eat citrus fruits two hours before and four hours after taking any medicine.
2. Dairy products and cereals enriched with minerals
Which drugs work? antibiotics
What happens: Milk and dairy products such as yogurt and cheese can reduce the absorption of common antibiotics, especially tetracyclines (eg doxycycline) and fluoroquinolones (eg ciprofloxacin), resulting in a reduced therapeutic effect. Antibiotics are supposed to bind to calcium, which is rich in dairy products, resulting in the formation of a substance that is poorly absorbed by the body. Accordingly, the absorption of antibiotics is reduced by the iron, zinc, magnesium contained in the flakes, which are usually eaten for breakfast, pouring milk.
What to do: Do not eat dairy products, cereals, but any food, at least two hours before taking antibiotics.
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3. Sausages, beer and fermented foods
Which drugs work? antidepressants monoamine oxidase inhibitors
What happens: The action of these drugs is based on the suppression of the activity of the enzyme monoamine oxidase. However, this enzyme, among other things, controls the level of the amino acid tyramine. Tyramine is found in fermented foods, beer, wine, as well as in smoked sausages and other processed meat products. An increase in the level of tyramine in the blood can cause an increase in blood pressure, headaches, blurred vision, and even cerebral hemorrhage.
What to do: Patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors regularly should minimize their intake of these foods to reduce the risk of tyramine accumulation in the body.
4. Foods high in fiber
Which drugs work? levothyroxine
What happens: This medicine is prescribed for insufficient thyroid activity. However, foods high in fiber – fruits, vegetables, legumes – reduce the effectiveness of levothyroxine. It is believed that fiber is associated with the active substance of the drug in the intestines, preventing its absorption into the blood. The effectiveness of levothyroxine is also reduced by coffee and foods that contain calcium and iron.
What to do: Take levothyroxine on an empty stomach at least one hour before meals.
Which drugs work? Drugs used to treat heart failure and lower blood pressure – angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (eg lisinopril and ramipril) and angiotensin receptor blockers (eg losartan and candesartan).
What happens: These drugs help the kidneys to delay the excretion of potassium by the body. As a result, in some patients, especially older people with kidney failure, potassium levels in the body begin to rise. If such patients eat a lot of foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, this can lead to symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, weakness, loss of energy.
What to do: Those taking ramipril, losartan or other similar medications should check their potassium levels and kidney function before starting and several weeks later, and also not eat too many bananas.
Source from dailymail.co.uk
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