Drug-food interaction series: Dairy products

Did you know that the everyday foods we eat can totally change the way prescription drugs act in the body ? Medically, it is known that some common foods can interact with prescription drugs, with the most commonly known culprit being grapefruit juice. However, there are a lot more of food and drug interactions to be concerned about. Here is the 1st out of 06 food-drugs interactions to avoid we are going to present in series…

Today’s Geriatric Medicine revealed that the calcium in dairy products such as milk, chocolate (except dark chocolate), cheese and ice cream affect the way some antibiotics are absorbed in the body.


In order for oral antibiotics to be effective, they must be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, make their way into the bloodstream, and be delivered to the infected area.  The classic family of antibiotics that cannot be taken with milk are the tetracyclines (like doxycycline) and ciprofloxacin because the calcium in the milk binds the antibiotic, delaying or  preventing gut absorption. Hence, this interaction often leads to treatment failure


If you must take milk or any calcium supplements (e.g., calcium carbonate, calcium gluconate, calcium citrate) can be found in multi-vitamins, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications), take them an hour before or 2 hours after your antibiotic medication.

How do I check for food-drugs interactions ?

Anytime you’re given a newly prescribed or over-the-counter medication, you’ll want to always read the drug warning labels.

Be sure to ask your doctor and/or pharmacist about which foods or other drugs you should avoid or be concerned about taking, based on your diet.

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