Despite the number of warnings we receive about disobeying doctors, most of us are more than happy to eat and drink whatever we like when we’re on medication. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?
Though it might be tempting to think that tiny pills can’t really do that much damage if you’re eating and drinking naughty things, the reality is a whole lot more depressing. As it turns out, there are several good reasons why certain meds should never be meddled with. Here are seven medications that you should absolutely never mix with food and drink.
1. ACE Inhibitors
By and large, ACE inhibitors are perfectly safe to mix with most common foods. But there is one surprising food group with which they should never cross paths. Bananas maybe a healthy option for most people, but can spell disaster for anyone taking an ACE inhibitor. The high potassium levels of the fruit, combined with the lowering of blood pressure brought on by the medication can put patients at risk of irregular heart palpitations.
As anyone who’s been to the doctor knows, every medical professional is desperate to prevent you from drinking alcohol when on many of their drugs. Hence, this is not the last time that booze will make an appearance on this list. This main danger of mixing aspirin and alcohol is prolific stomach bleeding, but there is evidence from a 1990 study that suggests that taking two aspirin pills an hour before drinking can elevate blood alcohol by more than 30% more than normal.
3. Benadryl Allergy
For some unfortunate hayfever sufferers, the only way to make it through the summer months is to dose up on antihistamines. Unfortunately for sensible allergy sufferers, this could also mean missing out on drinking. Hayfever and allergy medication, when mixed with alcohol, can cause extreme drowsiness, which is fine for a lazy afternoon, but not ideal if you actually need to do anything.
4. Cardiac Glycosides
Absolutely essential for many patients suffering with serious heart issues and arrhythmia, glycosides such as digoxin can be lifesaving. However, there is one food group that will remain off limits for as long as you’re taking the medication. Black liquorice contains glycyrrhizin, a chemical that can exacerbate an irregular heartbeat and even lead to a heart attack. Aside from glycosides, liquorice can also affect insulin, contraceptives, blood thinners and other medications.
As one of the most common malaria medications, quinine has been an essential requirement for anyone wishing to indulge in some globetrotting. Just make sure you don’t eat grapefruit whilst you’re doing it. The citrus fruit can affect the way in which the body metabolises a number of drugs, including malaria and statins medication.
One of America’s most popular pain relievers, tylenol is taken by millions every day, which makes it all the more important that people understand what a terrible idea it is to mix it with alcohol. According to a 2013 WebMD report, mixing even a small amount of booze with the drug can increase the risk of contracting kidney disease by a staggering 123%.
A common anti-anxiety medication, Xanax and drugs like it work by enhancing natural chemicals in the brain to produce a calming effect. When mixed with alcohol, however, this effect can become a problem. Combining the two can lead to drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk of overdosing and even difficulty breathing.
It can often be tempting to ignore advice from doctors when it comes to stopping us from doing something fun. Unfortunately for all of us, medical professionals do tend to know what they’re doing. As you can see from this list, the consequences of ignoring them can be serious.