Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Common Food-Drug Interactions

Common Food-Drug Interactions

 

These can cause dangerous side effects or a decrease in a drug’s action. Ensure that the medications you are taking will not be affected by diet or by the other drugs.

Blood Pressure Medications Combining certain blood pressure drugs with MSG (a common flavor enhancer) can cause flushing and feelings of tightness in the chest
Heart Medications Combining digitalis drugs with a diet low in potassium can cause potassium deficiency and/or drug toxicity (high blood levels of digitalis)
Pain Medications Combining aspirin and other over-the-counter pain medicines with a diet low in vitamin C can lead to vitamin C deficiency. Taking these drugs on an empty stomach can cause stomach bleeding.
Antidepressants Combining certain antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors with foods high tyramine (a substance found in aged cheese, Chianti wines, chicken livers, various pickled, aged, and fermented foods, etc.) can cause: dangerously high blood pressure, fever, death (in rare cases)
Antibiotics For example, milk and other dairy products can block the absorption of tetracyclines (a class of antibiotics). Likewise, penicillin drugs are poorly absorbed when taken with food.
Birth Control Pills Taking these drugs with a diet already low in vitamin B6 or folate can lead deficiencies in these important nutrients.
Asthma Medicines The effectiveness of these drugs can be limited when combined with: caffeine, charbroiled foods, high protein, low carbohydrate diets.
Laxatives These can cause vitamin deficiencies when combined with diets already low in vitamins A, D, E, or K. Some laxatives can cause stomach cramps when combined with milk.
Blood Thinning Drugs These medications can lose effectiveness and/or encourage blood clots when combined with:

Certain cooking oils, leafy greens, or liver

Anticonvulsants Combining certain seizure medications with a diet low in B vitamins can lead to:

vitamin B deficiency, anemia, numbness, tingling in the hands and feet.

Thyroid Medications Some of these can be less effective when combined with iodine-rich foods.