Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Antibiotics

Did you know that certain foods and drinks can get in the way of your recovery from an illness as they may hamper the action of antibiotics? No one wants to prolong the agony of being homebound or less productive because of a health issue, and that is why you should take your meds — and mind what you eat and drink as well!

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There are all sorts of reasons why the wrong diet can actually reduce the efficacy of the antibiotics you are taking. First, it can interfere with the way your body breaks down the drug. Second, it can slow down the emptying of the stomach, resulting in the decelerated absorption rate of the drug. In some instances, it can actually prevent the absorption of the drug, rendering it ineffective against the problem it was prescribed for.

So the next time your doctor hands you that prescription of antibiotics, remember to ask about which foods and drinks you may take it with — and shouldn’t. The following are some of the things you should momentarily refrain from consuming while popping antibiotics in your mouth:


Cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, ice cream — these and other dairy products should not be served on the table while you’re on antibiotics. Calcium present in abundant amounts in these treats can hinder the proper absorption of antibiotics. However, there’s one dairy product that you may still take: yogurt. That’s because it is packed with probiotics that help keep the gut healthy and prevent diarrhea, a common side effect of antibiotics.

Iron-Rich Foods

Just like calcium, iron is known to block the absorption of antibiotics. Chicken liver, red meat, oysters, squash, nuts, dark leafy greens, dark chocolate — try to limit your consumption of these until your course of antibiotics is completed. Are you taking iron supplements or multivitamins containing iron? If so, take them at least 3 hours after you have swallowed your antibiotics to ensure proper absorption.


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The truth is alcohol does not have any effect on the breakdown or absorption of antibiotics by your body. So what’s the reason why it is a good idea to steer clear of alcohol while you’re taking antibiotics? Alcohol is said to augment the common side effects of antibiotics, which include dizziness and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea. So while you are on antibiotics, it’s a great idea to refrain from guzzling down alcoholic drinks.

Citrus Fruits

We all know that eating citrus fruits is a great way to bounce back much faster from a variety of health problems as they are loaded with immune-system boosting vitamin C. However, reaching for them is a no-no if your doctor has instructed you to take antibiotics. That’s because the likes of oranges, tangerines, lemons and most especially grapefruit can have a negative effect on the way your body absorbs antibiotics.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

It’s not just citrus fruits that you should avoid before you’re through with your course of antibiotics, but also anything else that’s acidic. Again, consuming them can keep antibiotics from being properly absorbed, keeping their intake from being fully beneficial. While on antibiotics, stay away from chocolates and anything with tomatoes in them. Certainly, you should refrain from drinking wine, coffee, sodas and even most sports drinks.

High-Fiber Foods

The inclusion of high-fiber foods in your everyday diet is unquestionably good for your body. However, it’s something that you should momentarily sidestep while you are taking antibiotics. That’s because the likes of brown rice, oats, whole-wheat bread, cereals, beans, nuts, corn and leafy greens slow down the rate of your stomach’s emptying, and this causes the absorption rate of antibiotics or any other medication that your doctor has prescribed to decelerate.

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