Drug and food interaction


Drug and food interaction

Some food and drug when taken simultaneously can alter the body’s ability to utilize the food or drug and may cause serious side effects. Food may change the pharmaceutical properties, as:

-pharmacokinetic or the movements of the drug through the body by absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion.
– pharmacodynamic referring to the physiologic and biochemical effect of the drug properties of the drug.
-and it can reduce or increase the changes in bioavailability of the drug (degree to a which the drug has reaches the circulation and becomes available (Bushra et al., 2011; University of Akron, 2015).

First thing that comes in mind when talking about food and drug interaction is the interaction of alcohol with drugs. It is most known for its interaction with antihistamines (drugs for allergy) by increasing drowsiness, it can increase liver damage when consumed with drugs analgesics (for pain) and antipyretics (for fever), it can increase the risk of side effects as coma when used with narcotics, or nausea, headache, etc., when used with bronchodilators (for asthma) increases the effect of the drugs as it does with vasodilators and can lower the blood pressure up to a dangerously low level. But it is not only alcohol that interact and interferes with drug effectiveness, other foods do it as well.

Food with high amount of potassium as bananas, oranges, green leafy vegetables, and other potassium food supplements, should not be consumed in large amounts with drugs for cardiovascular diseases as ACE inhibitors, because such drugs can already increase potassium in the body. And high amount of potassium can cause irregular heartbeat and rapid heartbeats.

Food with high content of vitamin K can suppress the effect of anticoagulants, because one role of vitamin K is to help blood coagulation. So in this case green leafy vegetables, as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and similar, should be avoided. On the other hand other foods can increase the effect of anticoagulants (warfarin) by increasing the chance of bleeding as do garlic, ginger, ginseng, cranberry juice and ginkgo.

Glycosides, one of the drugs for treating cardiovascular disease, can be removed from the body when using food with high fiber content. So it should be either consumed prior of after such food. Some herbs as Senna and St. John’s wort can have the same effect, while Licorice (also present in come candies as sweetener), causes irregular heartbeat and even can cause heart attack, because of the interaction with glycyrrhizin.

Statins, cholesterol lowering drugs, can express increased side effects if more than one glass of grapefruit juice is consumed during the day, because this juice increases the level of statins in the body.

Diuretics help discard the excess water in the body, as well as sodium and chlorine, but some minerals can be lost along, as potassium, calcium and magnesium, but they can also increase the level of potassium. One should be well informed of the effects of specific drug to know what type of food to consume.

Linezolid (oxazolidinone antibacterial) or Ethambutol (antimycobacterial) combined with food high in tyramine can cause sudden dangerous increase in blood pressure. Such food can be spoiled or not refrigerated food, aged, pickled, fermented or smoked food, and food with caffeine can be sources as well. Foods high in histamine as tuna fish and other tropical fish can cause headache, sweating, rapid heartbeats and low blood pressure, with some antibiotics (NSG &FDA, 2015).

There are many more food and drug interactions. But it is common interest to lower such occurrences because the medications have the intended effect, there is no need to act with another drug, optimal nutrition status is preserved, accidents and injuries are avoided, healthcare costs are reduced and other (University of Akron, 2015).

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