Test Your Knowledge: Do You Know the Most Common Food and Drug Interactions?

Allison Bush | Jan 9th 2013 Oct 10th 2017

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True or False: Cranberry products, like cranberry juice, are a good companion to blood thinners, like warafin.
  1. 0 True
  2. 1 False
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It's best to avoid cranberry juice or cranberry products while using warfarin because they can make the drug less effective. Also avoid supplements such as garlic, ginger, glucosamine, ginseng, and ginkgo because they can increase the chance of bleeding.

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  1. True or False: Cranberry products, like cranberry juice, are a good companion to blood thinners, like warafin.

    Correct Answer: False

    It's best to avoid cranberry juice or cranberry products while using warfarin because they can make the drug less effective. Also avoid supplements such as garlic, ginger, glucosamine, ginseng, and ginkgo because they can increase the chance of bleeding.

  2. True or False: Tetracycline antibacterial medications, which are used to fight infections, are best taken with dairy products.

    Correct Answer: False

    According to the FDA. you can take tetracycline with food if it upsets your stomach, but avoid dairy products (such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream) one hour before or two hours after. It's best to take this medication with an 8 oz glass of water.

  3. True or False: The osteoporosis class of drugs called bisphosphonates should be taken on an empty stomach.

    Correct Answer: True

    These medicines work only when you take them on an empty stomach. Take the medicine first thing in the morning with a full glass of plain (non-mineral) water.

  4. True or False: ACE inhibitors, which are most commonly used to treat high blood pressure, increase the amount of calcium in your body.

    Correct Answer: False

    ACE inhibitors can increase the amount of _potassium_ in your body. Therefore, to avoid harmful side effects like irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations, don't eat large amounts of foods high in potassium, such as bananas, oranges, green leafy vegetables, and salt substitutes that contain potassium.

  5. True or False: Statins are dangerous to take with apple juice.

    Correct Answer: False

    Grapefruit juice, other grapefruit products and certain other citrus fruits, like pomelos and Seville oranges, can interfere with several kinds of prescription medications, including statins, by making the medication dangerously potent in the body. 

  6. True or False: MAO inhibitors, used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses, are not safe to take with certain types of cheese.

    Correct Answer: True

    MAO inhibitors can react with tyramine, a compound found in some aged and fermented foods. This reaction can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure. Foods high in tyramine include aged cheese, Brewer's yeast and yeast extracts, Chianti wine, pickled herring, and fava beans.