The medications your doctor prescribes can have a positive impact on your ability to maintain a happy, healthy, active life. Seniors are living longer and more active lives than ever before, likely due to the development of treatments and medications for common chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Many prescription drugs are not meant to be taken with certain foods. It’s common for older adults to take multiple medications daily, so it’s important to be aware of food and drug interactions to avoid.
In this post, we’ll discuss common food and drug interactions, and suggest some combinations to avoid for you or a senior loved one in your life.
What follows is a short list of common food and drug interactions that may occur. This is not a complete list by any means, and it’s always recommended to consult with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information.
Be careful with eating grapefruits and drinking grapefruit juice if you’re on medication. The pulp, juice and peel of grapefruit can increase the dosage level of certain drugs. Be especially careful if you’re taking drugs for seizures, impotence or pain.
2. Caffeine and Prednisone
Prednisone can inhibit the metabolism of caffeine. When this happens, it can cause sleepiness and jitters. A more serious side effect of this interaction is an increase in gout attacks. Prednisone treats conditions such as arthritis, eye problems, allergies and skin diseases.
3. Antibiotics and Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium found in foods like yogurt, cheese and milk can bind to certain antibiotics. When this happens, it can form a substance within the stomach and upper intestine that cannot be absorbed by the body. This can cause a serious intestinal blockage and a lot of pain as a result.
4. Vitamin K and Warfarin
This food and drug interaction can work both ways. Vitamin K is essential for allowing blood to clot. Warfarin is an anticoagulant that is designed to prevent harmful blood clots from forming. Depending on your specific needs, you may need to limit the amount of kale, spinach, or other leafy-green vegetables in your diet.
5. Potassium and ACE Inhibitors
ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels, letting blood flow smoothly. ACE inhibitors also provide potassium. The problem is that when too much potassium is absorbed in the body, it can cause dangerous heart problems or irregular heartbeats. For example, bananas and oranges should also be limited or avoided when using ACE inhibitors.
6. Pickled, Cured and Fermented Foods and MAIOs
This food category contains tyramine, which can increase blood pressure to dangerous levels. This holds especially true for those taking medication for Parkinson’s disease and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAIOs).
This is just a small sample of potential food and drug interactions you should be sure to avoid. It’s important to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about any potential interactions the medications you’re prescribed could include. And, be sure to always take any medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Saint Simeon’s offers a variety of services and amenities designed with the needs of seniors in mind. From enriching activities to assisted living and memory care, our mission is to ensure every senior can stay active and healthy, no matter what their age. Are you or a loved one considering moving to a senior living community? Contact Saint Simeon’s today to learn more.