Some foods can prevent prescription medication from working, or in the worst case scenario have dangerous side-effects
1 Alcohol – Avoid if you take- Antihistamines, diabetes medicines or painkillers
Medicines often come with a warning to avoid alcohol . This is due to the pressure booze puts on your liver.
“Alcohol, paracetamol and codeine are metabolised by the liver and it will have to work harder to break down alcohol and medications at the same time,” says Dr Hillick.
“This can increase the risk of side effects from the medications, including drowsiness.
“Also, overworking your liver can eventually increase your risk of liver damage.”
2 Coffee – Avoid if you take – Bronchodilators for asthma
These help patients to breathe more easily by relaxing the muscles in the lungs and widening airways.
“Common side effects of these include palpitations, nervousness and excitability. When mixed with caffeine these risks are increased,” says Dr Hillick.
Too much caffeine can also limit their effectiveness in an emergency so speak to your GP if you are taking them but need caffeine too.
3. Milk – Avoid if you take – Antibiotics
“Ciprofloxacin and tetracycline should be taken with a glass of water one hour before a meal or two hours after you have eaten,” says Dr Hillick.
“Food will interfere with the way these medications are absorbed by your body and dairy products, such as milk, will have the same effect.”
So while it might be tempting to take antibiotics with a glass of milk, don’t.
4. If you take blood pressure medication, don’t eat bananas
Eating a banana while taking blood pressure medicine can increase the amount of potassium in your body. And while potassium is normally good for you, too much can cause heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
5. Smoked salmon/salami/pate – Avoid if you take – Antidepressants
Check with your GP if your antidepressants come under the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) category before you indulge in smoked meats such as salami, smoked salmon or chicken liver pate.
“The problem is that these foods are rich in tyramine, a compound caused by the breakdown of amino acid.
“When mixed with MAOIs, it can cause tyramine levels to spike leading to dangerously high blood pressure.”
Other foods on the risk list include strong or aged cheese and other smoked or processed meats and fish.
6.Limes – Avoid if you take – Cough medicines
Be careful with limes or Seville oranges if you’re taking cough medicines with dextromethorphan.
“Citrus foods can interfere with the process that breaks down the drug causing more of it to get in your body,” says Dr Hillick.
“This can lead to side effects like hallucinations or drowsiness.”