It may not seem like grapefruit juice, green leafy vegetables, licorice, hot dogs and chocolate have anything in common, but they do. These are among a number of different foods that can interact with medications, making certain drugs not work sufficiently or others too powerful for the body to handle properly.

Food and drug interactions can happen with both prescription and over-the-counter medications, including antacids, vitamins, iron pills, herbs, supplements, and beverages. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are a number of common food and drug interactions:

  • Grapefruit juice can interact with drugs such as statins, antihistamines, thyroid medications, blood pressure medications, birth control pills, cough suppressants and medications that block stomach acids, and affect the way the body metabolizes the medication.
  • Leafy green vegetables can interact with blood-thinning medications and affect the blood’s clotting ability.
  • Natural black licorice may interact with certain blood pressure medications and blood-thinning medications.
  • Salt substitutes can interact with ACE inhibitors and digoxin.
  • Tyramine (found in foods such as aged meats and cheeses, hot dogs and chocolate) can interact with some medications used to treat depression or Parkinson’s disease.

Not all medications are affected by food, but many can be affected by what you eat and when you eat it. Before taking any medication, it is important to read directions, warning and interaction precautions printed on all medication labels and instructions. Do not stir medication into food or take capsules apart (unless directed by your pharmacist or doctor), or mix them into hot drinks. Keep all medications in their original containers so they can be easily identified.

Learn what you can do to prevent drug interactions with food, other prescribed medications, over-the-counter drugs or herbal products, by taking a free, online quiz available on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

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Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


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