Ingesting prescription drugs these days has become common place. And while water is the best option to combine with any drug, we often forget about the other beverages we consume throughout the day. Unfortunately, many liquids from fruit juices to coffee can actually lessen the potency of some medications and pose serious health risks in certain cases.
Known Counteractions of Prescription Drugs
The following is a list of known counteractions from Medical Toxicologist, Dr. Leslie Dye, MD, FACMT that will alter the effectiveness of specific drugs. Whether you take these medications yourself or simply know someone who does, staying informed can make a difference between a successful or unsuccessful treatment.
Grapefruit juice is said to negatively interact with over 50 prescription drugs, including statins. Its effect lasts more than 24 hours, so taking your pills at a different time of day won’t solve the problem.
There is an enzyme in pomegranate juice that breaks down several blood pressure medications. Be sure to check if your brand is on the list.
Milk, Soy Milk, Milk-based smoothies
Calcium is known to interfere with thyroid medications. It is recommended to wait at least 4 hours after taking a thyroid pill to consume any calcium-rich drinks.
Coffee, Green Tea, and Energy Drinks
Caffeine is a stimulant by itself and can pose a serious health threat when taken with prescribed stimulants. Avoid caffeine-laced beverages when taking ephedrine (appetite suppressants), asthma prescriptions, and amphetamines (such as Adderall).
The potassium in these drinks is the root of the problem, and can be dangerous when combined with heart failure or hypertension drugs. Avoid bananas too because they are also rich in potassium.
Wine or Energy Drinks
Both wine and energy drinks interact badly with antidepressants; the result in combing the two can cause hypertension, headaches, fast heart rate, and stroke.
Green Tea [with Vitamin K]
The effectiveness of blood thinners, such as coumarin and warfarin, is decreased by Vitamin K, commonly used as a healthy additive in many teas and naturally found in broccoli and kale. Avoid Vitamin K in all forms when taking these prescription drugs.