Vishal Mehta, BPharm, RPh,Pharmacist

As we steam towards the holiday season, for many it will mean fun with lots of friends, family and enjoying plenty of food. But did you know some of the common foods eaten during the holiday season can interfere with medications? Some foods/drinks can affect the efficacy of certain medications and others can have unpleasant to potentially dangerous interactions with your medications.

Here are some combinations to be aware of and avoid/limit where possible:

  • Alcohol can be one of the biggest culprits of an adverse drug interaction. Avoid alcohol in combination with anti-depressants, opioid pain medications and anti-anxiety medication. Alcohol can intensify sedative effects of these medications. Limit alcohol consumption if taking NSAIDs such as naproxen or ibuprofen (Advil) as it can upset your stomach and damage your kidneys.
  • Grapefruit or grapefruit juice can have interactions with several medications. When consumed with statins (to lower cholesterol) or calcium-channel blockers, Norvasc and Adalat (to lower blood pressure), grapefruit intensifies their effect on the body.
  • Dairy, often found in creamy dishes and desserts, can prevent the absorption of certain medications such as antibiotics. Wait at least an hour or two between taking your medication and consuming any type of dairy.

If you are concerned whether your medications could be impacted by food, speak to your doctor or pharmacist and find out what, if anything, you should avoid eating or drinking.

Wishing you a safe and joyful holiday season!