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Taking Pills with Certain Beverages can Dilute Effect of Medication

Filed July 12th, 2013 edlieber1

People who take their pills with coffee or juice may be weakening the effects of the drugs they were prescribed.

According to the Tampa Tribune, people taking alendronate (Fosamax) for osteoporosis should know that the pill must be taken on an empty stomach at least half an hour before the first cup of coffee or tea. Taking the pill with coffee or tea could result in the pill not being absorbed adequately, thus weakening or completely diminishing its effects. Meanwhile, taking aliskiren (Tekturna) with apple juice substantially decreases the amount of medicine that actually flows through the bloodstream. Coffee or tea can also reduce the absorption of the thyroid hormone levothyroxine, the Tampa Tribune reported.

The article also highlighted the dangers of the cranberry-Coumadin mix. There are several case reports in the medical literature that show an increased bleeding risk when people on warfarin consume cranberry juice or sauce. One patient died of a hemorrhage six after starting to drink cranberry juice with the pill.

While the dangers of mixing cranberry juice and pills have been well documented, the Tampa Tribune found that far less is reported about mixing pills with grapefruit juice. There are currently dozens of drugs on the market that don’t mix well with the acidity of grapefruit juice; among them are the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as atorvastatin, lovastatin and simvastatin.


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