The increasing availability of Over The Counter drugs (OTC) and the absence of counseling after drug dispensing by patent drug vendors can be nailed as the primary cause of the increase in cases of drug abuse, drug deaths and microbial resistance. It therefore becomes necessary to create awareness on possible actions foods and drugs can have on one another.

What is drug incompatibility?

It refers to the interactions between two or more substances which in turn leads to changes in physical, chemical or therapeutic properties such dosage form. Interactions can either be between drug -drug or drug- food interactions.

What is drug –food interaction?

It simply refers to the effects of food minerals or nutrients in  the modification of  expected therapeutic effect of  pharmaceutical  dosage forms.  With this we are expected to know our diet can affect the drugs we take in.
Below are examples of over the counter drugs and some incompatible food substances

TETRACYCLINE AND MILK: The presence of polyvalent cations such as calcium ,magnesium in milk makes it incompatibly with tetracycline. Why? Tetracycline forms insoluble or partially soluble complexes that will affect the availability of tetracycline. Iron containing blood tonics can also have same effect on tetracycline
ACETAMINOPHEN AND ALCOHOL:  Pain relievers like paracetamol or Tylenol are known to contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen however does not mix with alcohol thus two or more alcoholic drinks per day hereby increasing its liver toxicity.
ANTIMALARIAL DRUGS AND VITAMIN C OR IRON CONTAINING SUPPLEMENTS: The concomitant use of vitamin c and antimalarial drug reduces the therapeutic effect expected as vitamin c has an antagonistic effect of the anti malarial drug.
FLAGYL (METRONIDAZOLE) AND ALCOHOLIC DRINKS: severe unwanted reactions are most times triggered by the concomitant use of the above.

Combining drugs with the drinks above may seem like the best way to avoid getting to taste it but it is not safe and could sometimes be fatal.

I hope the above pieces of information will guide our choice of food when using different drugs.


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