How does your medication help best and why sometimes not at all? We explain why, for example, blood thinners no longer work in conjunction with lettuce in thrombosis.
Have you ever wondered why you took a headache pill after breakfast and then nothing happened? Nevertheless, you should not immediately doubt your painkiller. Because maybe it’s more about your eating habits. There was probably muesli or dark bread and that made the tablet ineffective. You can find out here why this is the case and what else you should know about medicines in combination with food – for the benefit of your health. Because medicines can not only lose their effect through food. This can also increase – sometimes with dramatic consequences.
Antibiotics don’t go with cheesecake
Whether milk, quark, or cheesecake – you should not take any of these dairy products together with antibiotics or medicines for osteoporosis and urinary tract infections. The reason: the active ingredients combine with the calcium in the dairy products to form lumps and can no longer slip through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. Instead, they stay in the gut and are excreted.
Tip: It is best to avoid dairy products two hours before and after taking such medication.
Blood pressure lowers the need for bananas
Unfortunately, what works usually has side effects. This also applies to most antihypertensive and diuretic medications: they flush potassium out of the body. This in turn can cause problems in the muscles and nerves – and is particularly dangerous in the case of cardiac insufficiency and arrhythmias. Therefore, when taking these drugs, the potassium level should be checked before and two weeks after the start of therapy (thereafter every six months).
Tip: Eat high-potassium foods such as bananas or sweet apricots more often.
No whole grain bread to painkillers
As healthy as dark bread is, it is not a good companion for certain pain relievers. Its fiber locks in its active ingredients, preventing absorption from the intestine.
Tip: After taking medication with paracetamol or acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin, Alka-Seltzer), wait two hours before eating high-fiber foods such as wholemeal bread or muesli.
Pain reliever Diclofenac: better on an empty stomach
Why should we take the pain reliever diclofenac at least an hour before eating? An empty stomach or intestine brings the active ingredient into the bloodstream more quickly. Therefore, you should take the painkiller, which is often prescribed for rheumatism and arthrosis, on an empty stomach and then wait 1-2 hours before eating.
Heart patients should be careful with the drug, as it can increase their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Tip: Get the lower-risk “naproxen” prescribed instead!
Coffee, black tea, or cola for tablets?
Not a good idea. Because all three contain caffeine. This is broken down more slowly in the body if antibiotics or asthma medication are taken at the same time. So it can happen that one cup of coffee has the same effect as three cups: you sweat, your heart starts racing, and your blood pressure may even rise. Caffeine also inhibits blood clotting. Anyone who drinks a lot of coffee and also takes thrombosis medication can thin the blood dangerously. Tip: It is better to drink decaffeinated coffee or cola.
Lettuce & Co: Watch out if there is a risk of thrombosis
Lettuce, spinach, and other green vegetables are rich in vitamin K. This is good and important for our blood clotting. However, it is not so healthy for people who have to take medication because of the risk of thrombosis: the vitamin can impair their blood-thinning effect. Tip: In this case, discuss with your doctor what you need to consider when eating vitamin K-rich vegetables.
Dangerous mix: grapefruit and tablets
With every third drug, grapefruits lead to increased effects and side effects: Because their plant substances inhibit certain enzymes in the intestine that are responsible for breaking down the drug. As a result, the active ingredient gets into the blood and overwhelms the liver. In some cases, this can even be life-threatening. Tip: It is better to avoid grapefruits and their juice during drug therapy.
What does: before, after, or with the meal mean?
Before the meal: You must swallow the tablet 30-60 minutes before the meal. With food: Simply swallow the tablets between bites. Or up to 10 minutes after the meal. After eating: Wait at least two hours before taking.