Most people are aware that medications can interact with each other, causing dangerous problems. When doctors and pharmacists have complete information about all the medications a senior is taking, they can help to avoid drug interactions. However, many people aren’t aware that there are also foods that can interact with certain medications.
The interactions can make drugs less effective and can sometimes be dangerous. Being aware of food and drug interactions can help your older family to avoid them. Below are some foods that may interact with some medications.
Consuming dairy products too close to taking antibiotics can cause them to be less effective. The calcium in them attaches to the antibiotics in the intestinal tract, making a substance that the body cannot absorb. This means the antibiotics cannot get into the senior’s system and fight the infection. To prevent this interaction, experts recommend taking antibiotics between one and two hours after a meal that includes dairy products.
Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking some prescription medications, and even some over the counter ones can cause dangerous interactions. For example, some blood pressure medications can remain in the bloodstream at higher levels because of ingesting grapefruit juice. This increases the chances of the senior experiencing side effects.
Seniors who are taking MAOI inhibitors should avoid foods that contain tyramine because they can cause blood pressure to become elevated, even causing a hypertensive crisis. Foods that contain tyramine include:
Licorice can interact with certain medications taken for congestive heart failure and heart rhythm problems, causing the drugs to be toxic. Licorice can also make some blood pressure drugs and diuretics less effective, which interferes with the proper management of some conditions.
There are many medications that react poorly to drinking alcohol. If your older family member drinks alcohol, it’s a good idea to always ask the doctor or pharmacist whether or not the senior can have a drink with the new medication.
Senior care can help your aging relative to avoid food and drug interactions. Senior care providers can prepare meals for the older adult that avoid any foods the doctor or pharmacist has advised against. In addition, a senior care provider can remind your older family member to take medications at the appropriate time, which can also help to avoid interactions.