Why should we not combine medicines with coffee, tea and juices?

Coffee, tea, and fruit juices contain substances that interfere with drug metabolism. They have the ability to enhance, weaken, or completely eliminate the effects of drugs. What beverages should we avoid while taking medication, and why?

Coffee, tea, and medications may not seem to have anything in common, but when some medications are combined with these seemingly unrelated drinks, explosive mixtures can result.

Everyone who receives the medication should read the package leaflet. This is necessary because the doctor is only human, and we cannot assume that he will tell us everything about the medicine.

We should be concerned about the effectiveness of our therapy because we frequently unconsciously do things that condemn our treatment to failure, such as drinking coffee, tea, juices, and other beverages.

Coffee, black, red, and green tea, and the absorption of supplements

These drinks contain many substances that interfere with drug and mineral absorption, for example, they bind magnesium, calcium, and iron in the digestive tract. People who consume a lot of coffee and tea are often deficient in these nutrients. As a result, not only should coffee and tea be washed down with supplements containing these minerals, but also with foods high in them.

For the duration of their anemia treatment, people who consume these beverages should absolutely abstain from doing so. Iron deficiency is one of the causes of anemia, and coffee and tea’s ability to bind iron prevents it from being absorbed.

Coffee and tea and drug absorption

Tannins found in coffee and tea reduce alkaloids absorption and weaken the effect of some neuroleptics. Coffee compounds lower the pH in the stomach by increasing the secretion of hydrochloric acid. This action is especially harmful to people who have hyperacidity or peptic ulcer disease because it worsens the condition. Furthermore, it reduces the efficacy of drugs used in the treatment of these diseases.

Coffee can also change the way many medications work. Some of them (for example, fluoroquinolones – chemotherapeutics) significantly increase the concentration of caffeine in the blood as a result of interaction, resulting in nervousness and insomnia.

Both coffee and tea enhance the effect of antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, penetrex) and increase their side effects.

Cold tea and coffee sold in bottles or cans in stores have the same properties as freshly brewed beverages. Remember that if you are taking certain medications, you must also refrain from drinking these types of beverages.

Fruit juices and green tea

Fruit juices, particularly grapefruit and citrus juices, have significant drug interactions. Because grapefruit juice contains numerous compounds that inhibit drug metabolism in the body, you should avoid drinking it entirely during treatment. This significantly raises the concentration of the drug substance in the blood. The drug’s elevated concentration is maintained for an extended period of time, which is toxic to the body and may result in not only the intensification of the drug’s side effects, but also poisoning. Many other juices containing flavonoids (particularly citrus juices and green tea) and green tea have a similar effect to grapefruit juice.


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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