We know that medications often come with warnings explaining the risks of taking certain pills with other drugs and alcohol, but did you know that certain foods can also affect the way your body processes medications?

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), certain food-drug interactions can change the way medication works, cause side effects to become better or worse, and even create new side effects entirely.

Here are the most common drug-food interactions that everyone should know:

Grapefruit Juice – drinking grapefruit juice can increase your body’s absorption of certain drugs. According to Eat Right, “Grapefruit juice can also cause the body to metabolize drugs abnormally, resulting in lower or higher than normal blood levels of the drug. Many medications are affected in this way, including antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, thyroid replacement drugs, birth control, stomach acid-blocking drugs, and the cough suppressant dextromethorphan.”

Bananas – while bananas are an excellent source of potassium, too much potassium can cause heart issues for those who take medicine to lower blood pressure. According to the FDA, people taking ACE inhibitors could develop dangerous heart palpitations if they over-indulge on foods that are high in potassium.

Garlic – garlic and garlic supplements can interfere with certain anticoagulants (anti-clotting). If you are taking this type of medication, be sure to consult your physician to make sure you are consistent every day so you do not unintentionally increase your chances of experiencing a blood clot.

As always, it is vital to consult your physician when you are changing your medications or diet to ensure you are making healthy choices.

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