Drug-food interactions – see!

The problem of the interaction of drugs and food is very often underestimated, both by the patients themselves and by doctors. Read the article and make no mistake!


One of the most important principles of proper nutrition is to vary the diet, or consumption of various products from particular food groups. Such a diet ensures adequate supply of all essential nutrients of protein, carbohydrates, fat, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phyto-compounds and is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of the body. In some cases, however, this type of diet can lead to side effects. This applies especially to sick people who take many pharmaceutical preparations, both prescription and non-prescription ones. This is due to the interaction (interaction) of drug components with chemical compounds contained in food products. Chemical compounds and food ingredients can enter into various types of interactions,causing, for example, disorders in the absorption of drugs, their metabolism (ie, eg efficacy) and excretion.


The most common interactions occur at the stage of absorption of drugs from the gastrointestinal tract and consist in limiting or increasing the absorption of active substances in a pharmaceutical preparation. The consequence of such interaction of drugs with food may be, for example, a decrease in the effectiveness of drugs, but also cases of serious health disorders and even death have been reported. Unfortunately, the problem of the interaction of drugs and food is very often underestimated, both by the patients themselves and by doctors. According to research published by the Institute of Food and Nutrition, over half of patients are not aware of the possibility of interaction between drugs and food. The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you always ask the prescribing physician the following questions


It is also worth remembering that some food ingredients or ingredients found in non-prescription supplements or medicinal preparations may increase the effect of some medicines. The best-known example is the intensification of the action of antipyretic drugs and analgesics under the influence of caffeine contained in coffee, tea, cola beverages and energy drinks. It is also known that when using a low-fat or non-fat diet (which results in a reduction in bile secretion) the absorption of lipophilic drugs may be limited. Popular orange juice up to 10-fold increases the absorption of aluminum from alkalizing preparations (eg some medicines for heartburn), which may pose a risk of toxicity. The adverse effect of grapefruit juice is also well documented,which should not be taken during therapy with calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, hypolipidemic drugs (lovastatin, simvastatin), antihistamines, antivirals (HIV, AIDS) and cyclosporins. However, when treating MAO inhibitors, the following should be avoided in the diet of yellow cheeses (long-maturing, brie, mold), ripened cured meats, “old” wines, soy products, sauerkraut, marinated herring and beer.keeps pickled and beer.keeps pickled and beer.


Always read the leaflet carefully about the medicine contained in the package, and in the event of confusion, the information may also be obtained from your pharmacist. Since knowledge about the interaction of drugs with food is still incomplete, it is worth following a few basic principles to reduce the risk of such interactions. First of all, drugs should always be drunk with water. On the other hand, pharmaceutical preparations whose effect may be disturbed by ingredients present in food should be taken 1-2 hours before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. It is very important not to take dietary supplements containing minerals and vitamins or other biologically active substances (eg polyphenols) together with medicines. Under no circumstances should drugs be taken with alcohol, including beer. It is better not to mix the drug with a hot drink,because high temperature can reduce its effectiveness. It is also beneficial not to take vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal preparations or fiber preparations at the same time as the drugs, because they can hinder their absorption and thus their effectiveness.