It has been scientifically approved that some foods can affect the results of medications, it could increase or decrease the effectiveness of the medication. In addition to that consuming medication for a long period might cause micronutrient deficiency resulting in health issues. As a result of that, we need to spread awareness and educate patients on the importance of the relation between food and medication, in this article I will highlight the most important interactions that could happen between food and medication.
First of all, we need to understand the complex mechanism of how medication gets absorbed in the body. Firstly, after consuming any medication whether it was in a liquid or a pill form, it will reach the stomach but won’t be digested till it reaches the small intestine which then will be directed to the bloodstream and then to the liver which will be bonded with enzymes then sent to the affected place to be treated . After that, the remaining of the medication in the body will be disposed of through urine or will be broken down in the liver. But before this happens the medication must reach the stomach to be mixed with any food the patient has consumed during that time.
The nature of the relation between food and medication can vary , there could be a direct interaction for example : consuming any food or milk directly after taking the anti-biotic “Tetracycline”, can lead to weaken the effectiveness of the medication , which means that the patient won’t get the prescribed amount of it , thus not getting the expected result .
On the other hand, some medications can take days or weeks to show the side effect of mixing it with some foods. For example, consuming ” Monoamine oxidase inhibitors” – anti-depression- with any food that contains a high amount of ” tyramine” could lead to severe high blood pressure
During the 90s, it had been discovered that grapefruit or its juice can have a great effect on a lot of medication. Grapefruit when consumed can weaken the small intestine enzymes which affect the digestion of some medication and affect its absorption which will result in increasing the amount of the drug in the bloodstream, for example , if a patient was prescribed 1 mg of a drug, it will increase to 31 or 61 mg inside the patient’s body . some of the most interactions between food and drugs are, consuming salt and diuretics which will result in losing a significant amount of potassium and magnesium that could cause dangerous heart issues. also, consuming blood-thinning medication such as Aspirin with food that contains a high amount of vitamin k such as spinach can result in increased blood clotting which can cause a stroke. Also consuming onion or garlic or ginger with blood-thinning drugs can cause hyper liquidity, resulting in hemorrhage. Consuming Penicillin and Erythromycin with caffeine or tomatoes or fruit can increase stomach acidity which will weaken the effectiveness of these medications.
Consuming the anti-depression, moa inhibitors, with some type of cheeses or cream can lead to headaches, vomit and an increase in blood pressure.
In conclusion, there are so many food and medication interactions that most people don’t know about. And after reading this article you should have a good understanding of the most common interactions between food and medication.