While some strange food combinations can work surprisingly well together, combining certain drugs and foods won’t have the same effect. In fact, it could spell disaster when it comes to your health. Here are some of the most dangerous food and drug combinations to avoid.

Cough Medicine and Limes

Limes and other citrus fruits can block enzymes from properly breaking down cough medicine and other drugs. This impairment causes build-up in your bloodstream, increasing your risk of experiencing side effects like hallucinations, drowsiness or muscle damage. As these fruits can stay in your system for a few days, avoid them altogether while actively taking these drugs.

Antibiotics and Dairy

Certain antibiotics like to bind with calcium, iron and other minerals commonly found in dairy products. This bond prevents the antibiotic from being absorbed into the body, drastically lowering its effectiveness in fighting off infections. If your antibiotics belong to the tetracycline or fluoroquinolone class, then avoid consuming dairy products two hours before and after taking your medicine.

Antidepressants and Smoked Meat

If your antidepressants belong in the monoamine oxidase inhibitors class of happy pills, then don’t combine them with foods that are high in tyramine amino acids. This will result in a life-threatening spike in your blood pressure. Items that contain this amino acid include summer sausage, smoked salmon, red wine, hotdogs, aged cheese, soy sauce and draft beer.

Ritalin and Chocolate

Coffee and chocolate contain theobromine, a stimulant that can lead to erratic behaviour and seizures when combined with Ritalin. While these risks are largely based on the individual, if you choose to proceed with the combination, take note of how you feel. Are you more nervous, irritable or hyper? If so, and it’s impairing your daily functionality, then stop taking these two substances together.

Allergy Medicine and Apple Juice

If you’re taking an allergy medication that contains fexofenadine, like Allegra, don’t consume the juice of apples, oranges and grapefruits within four hours of taking the pill. Those juices aid certain peptides in transporting the drug from your gut to your bloodstream. This will drastically reduce the effectiveness of the medicine, calling your allergies to worsen.

Warfarin and Cinnamon

When taking a blood thinner like warfarin to prevent or treat blood clots, make sure you’re closely monitoring your vitamin K intake. Don’t change your usual diet of leafy greens or broccoli, as it will affect the effectiveness of the warfarin. More importantly, avoid consuming cinnamon while your on this medication, as it contains high levels of coumarin. This compound can thin the blood and cause liver damage.

Acetaminophen and Alcohol

Try not to wash down Tylenol, or other medications containing acetaminophen, with alcohol. The enzymes in your body will work to break down both substances at the same time, meaning the Tylenol will be less effective. Put about six hours between drinking and taking Tylenol or other medications, including cold medicine, over-the-counter pills and prescription pain medicine.

At Allwell Pharmacy, our licensed pharmacists are dedicated to providing customers with the best services to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With locations in Brampton and Mississauga, our independently-owned pharmacy offers compound pharmaceutical services, local prescription delivery, professional advice, vaccinations and more. Be sure to visit our compounding pharmacy today!


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