Hold the Grapefruit Juice

Some drugs and foods don’t mix

By Pat Lawson Muse
|  Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009  |  Updated 10:27 AM EDT
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Get the Most Out of Your Meds

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Get the Most Out of Your Meds

Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy and Asthma Care discusses the right way to your medicine
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Don't take those allergy pills with your Big Mac. And for heaven's sake, don't go to bed after taking your Fosomax.

When it comes to chemistry, some medications and some foods just don't have it.

"Many people take their meds incorrectly and don’t have a clue," said Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, of Family Allergy & Asthma Care.

For example, grapefruit juice makes for great drinking, but not with antidepressants.

"If you drink grapefruit juice, your liver has trouble processing meds for coughs, migraines, cholesterol, allergies, ADHD and some antibiotics," Eghrari-Sabet said.

It's estimated that almost two-thirds of Americans use meds. Some 32 million take three or more a day.  To get the max from your meds, avoid bad combinations. Read the RX inserts and the fine-print warnings.

Once you learn the wrong combinations, try learning a few new tricks. Dr. Jackie suggests the following:

  • Wait a couple of hours before lying down after taking osteoporosis drugs. The drugs can irritate, inflame or perforate your esophagus.
  • Numb your arm with lidocaine or ice before getting injections. You won’t feel the pain.
  • When inserting eye drops, close your eye lids and drop medication on the lashes closest to the inside corner of the eye.

Bad medicine-food combos:

  • High fat foods with ADHD and allergy drugs
  • Grapefruit juice with cough syrup, migraine meds, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antidepressants, allergy pills and some antibiotics

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