Taking medicines away from food

taking medicines away from food

I’ve written about medicines that should be taken with food so this week it’s time for medicines that should be taken away from food.


Why some medicines should be taken away from food

To make sure the medicine is processed and absorbed properly. Calcium in dairy products stops the absorption of iron and some antibiotics.  Thyroxine, to treat hypothyroidism, should be taken away from food so that it is absorbed properly.

To make sure the medicine breaks down properly in the intestines and liver. Grapefruit juice has such an unpredictable effect with a lot of medicines that it should not be consumed unless you are sure it is safe with your medicines.

Because the “food” acts in a similar way to the medicine. This is like having an overdose.  This is why alcohol should not be consumed with medications that cause sedation and caffeine should not be used with stimulating medicines.



When it is stated to take a medicine on an empty stomach this generally means to take it one hour before food or two hours after



Take these medicines away from food

  • Beta blockers (heart medicine) eg atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol
  • H2 antagonists (for indigestion/reflux) eg ranitidine, famotidine, nizatidine. Take 30- 60 minutes before food.
  • Proton pump inhibitors (for indigestion/reflux) eg omeprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole. Take 30-60 minutes before food.
  • Thyroxine (thyroid medicine) Take 30-60 minutes before breakfast.
  • Some antibiotics eg ciprofloxacin, roxithromycin
  • Claratyne



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