Thursday, 7 July 2016

Meds and Meals.

   To finish up this rather dull topic I want to caution you about some commonplace foods that can throw your therapeutic level of drugs way out of the acceptable range. It's easy to ingest these everyday foodstuffs without giving them a second thought, so you should be informed about them.  Let's start with an item most of us are aware of,
   The use of cholesterol lowering statins is very common in the population.  Not all cholesterol lowering drugs react with grapefruit, so unless you have been specifically informed that the medication you are on is okay, you have to avoid it.  Unfortunately, the list is quite extensive and includes cardiac drugs such as anti-arrythmics, some blood pressure lowering pills, anti-migraine pills, psychiatric medications,erectile dysfunction pills and even tylenol.  The list goes on and on, so a good rule of thumb would be to assume whatever you are taking shouldn't be mixed with grapefruit, unless it has been specifically cleared. The reason for the effect is that grapefruit juice interacts with some cytochrome enzymes that play a part in metabolizing the drugs.Other citrus fruits are okay as long as they are not cross bred with grapefruit, like tangelos or seville oranges.
Certain Vegetables and Warfarin.
   Vitamin K is a natural antagonist of the anticoagulant warfarin, in fact it is used to neutralize its effects. So, when some folks have difficulty in keeping their blood coagulability stable, a careful look at their diet is  warranted..  Carrots and green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin K.  Almost all antibiotics can increase the effects of warfarin.  Antibiotics can also be associated with failure of birth control pills.
   Remember that if your stomach is full  the rate of absorption is slower and  there is a greater likelihood of contents interacting and precipitating out, so that taking your medication an hour before or two  hours after a meal will  result in faster absorption.  Sometimes, if slower absorption and more dilution is required taking the medication immediately after a meal may be advised.
   An exhaustive list of food-drug interactions can be found here:


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