3.09.2007

Why Pills Are Best Taken With Water


You may be tempted to take pills with a sip of juice, coffee or beer. Pharmacist Mary Euler explains why water is a safer bet:

Grapefruit juice. It may inhibit enzymes that help metabolise certain pills, including some heart drugs and antidepressants. That can make them less effective and worsen side effects.

Coffee, tea, cola. Consuming caffeine while using certain asthma drugs may increase side effects. Caffeine can irritate the stomach, so avoid with NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.

Milk. Calcium prevents absorption of some antibiotics.

Alcohol. You risk liver damage if you drink regularly and use acetaminophen. Alcohol can diminish the effects of antidepressants and worsen side effects of other drugs.

Cranberry juice. Reports suggest drinking it while on warfarin, an anticoagulant, may increase bleeding.

Fibre drinks. Fibre can bind with many drugs, decreasing effectiveness.

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