Health warning: milk can wreck beneficial effect of antibiotics
June 17, 2014 00:00
Berlin - Just a slosh of milk to whiten your coffee is enough to limit or even block the effect of some antibiotics and osteoporosis medications, German pharmacists are warning.
Food-drug combinations can have unwanted consequences, but many people don't think of coffee as a culprit.
The Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA)explains that the calcium in milk binds with certain drugs in the digestive tract to form less soluble compounds that cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream.
That's why German pharmacies warn customers that after taking antibiotics and osteoporosis drugs, patients should wait two hours before drinking a cup of coffee with milk.
Other interactions abound. Patients who take anticoagulants, also called vitamin K antagonists, should avoid goji berries. Although them echanism behind the interaction remains unclear, the ABDA said, the berries increase the drugs' effect and can cause bleeding.