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Prescription drug and food combinations that cause side effects

Some 70 percent of all Americans take prescription drugs on a daily basis. At least 50 percent take at least two. Many patients trust their doctors or pharmacists to tell warn them about potential side effects of taking a drug, including mixing it with other medications, drinking or driving. These professionals, however, rarely warn about the implications of consuming these drugs alongside certain foods. By not doing so, patients are put at risk for suffering serious injuries or death.

Take for example antidepressants. Many ones like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan and Emsam are classified as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). If you take one of these and also consume food products high in tyramine, a blood pressure regulating amino acid, then you could experience complications from a sudden increase in blood pressure.

This is why, if you're on one of these, you'll want to avoid high tyramine foods such as cured meats, avocados, aged cheese, chocolate, wine or beer. If you're unwilling to do so, then asking your doctor to prescribe a nonMAOI antidepressant may be ideal.

Blood thinners are another type of drug that should not be taken with certain foods. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, contain high amounts of vitamin K, a supplement that can cause blood thinners to fail. While some consumption of leafy greens is okay for those taking this type of prescription drug, there's a fine line that shouldn't be crossed if a patient wishes for the blood thinner to remain effective.

If leafy vegetables form a large part of a patient's diet, then it may be necessary for his or her dose of the prescription drug to be increased to account for that.

Patients who are prescribed cholesterol-reducing drugs, or statins, such as Crestor, Lipitor or Zocor should avoid both pomegranates and grapefruits. Even small amounts of these fruits has been known to cause a dangerously high increase in the drug's level in a patient's blood. This can last 72 hours.

Medical experts warn patients that can seem to stay away from these fruits to consider asking their doctor to prescribe a different cholesterol drug instead.

There are countless other drug-food interactions that many patients are likely unaware of.

If you suspect that you suffered an adverse reaction to a prescription medication related to the consumption of certain foods alongside it, then a Houston attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.

Source: San Antonio Express-News, "6 foods to avoid if you're taking these prescription drugs," Richard Marini, March 06, 2018

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