Grapefruit Juice Makes Tablets Work Harder

Whether tablets work well and properly does not always have to do with just taking them regularly (morning, noon, night). Since they are often and for convenience taken at mealtimes, it is also important whether they are taken before, at or after meals, or whether the stomach should be empty at the time of taking. And this is not enough: besides this, it also depends on what we eat and how much we drink or what we should not eat and should not drink.

Always take tablets with water

Tablets, coated tablets or capsules should always be taken with a large glass of water. Alcohol is not a suitable drink when taking medicines, because many active substances from the field of psychotropic drugs, sleeping pills and tranquilizers have an uncontrolled stronger effect when taken together with alcohol.

Interactions with food

Taking the antibiotics tetracyclines and gyrase inhibitors with milk or with other foods or medicines containing calcium, magnesium, or iron will decrease the absorption of these drugs. Iron tablets should be swallowed with water only. Other beverages such as black tea, coffee, milk, and fruit juices interfere with the absorption of iron.

Grapefruit juice leads to higher concentrations of the drug in the blood after taking calcium antagonists, which are taken for high blood pressure – it will also have a stronger effect.

Food as an accelerator

For other agents, absorption is improved when they are taken with certain foods: For example, the agents spironolactone or phenytoin are absorbed more quickly and completely when taken together with food that is especially rich in fat.

In the case of beta-receptor blockers such as propranolol, it is the other way around – less is absorbed. Very specific drugs for the treatment of depression (so-called MAO inhibitors), together with cheese or other foods containing tyramine, can lead to an extreme drop in blood pressure.

Proper timing of tablet intake

Also, always ask your doctor at what time you should take the medicine: for example, before, with, or after a meal. This is because for a number of medicines, the time at which they are taken is important: for example, the anti-tuberculosis drugs rifampicin and isoniazid are delayed and absorbed only to a small extent after eating. The same applies to the beta-blocker celiprolol. These drugs should therefore always be taken on an empty stomach.

So with medicines, it’s all about the right time and the right way to take them. Ask urgently in the doctor’s office or in the pharmacy, so that it does not come already because of the wrong intake to side effects.