LACERA - The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association LACERA Home Disclaimer Links My LACERA FAQs Contact Us LACERA Home

Search by Topic

Brochures & Forms




Check with Your Pharmacist or Doctor: Some Foods and Over-the-Counter Drugs May Interfere with Prescription Medications:

Although there are generally benefits associated with both prescription and non-prescription drugs, there are often risks, as well. In addition, some drugs don’t interact well. If you take one or more prescription drugs along with over-the-counter drugs and supplements, you could be at risk for a potentially dangerous adverse reaction.

It is important to check with your physician or your pharmacist before starting any new drug. This includes non-prescription drugs and dietary supplements, as well as prescription medications.

A study recently published in Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 68 percent of older adults use prescription drugs plus over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements. The rate of adverse drug interactions in this population increased with age, particularly among women. According to the findings, over 50 percent of these interactions involved the use of over-the-counter medications.

Foods Can Affect Prescription Drugs

If you take prescription medications, it’s also important to know that eating certain foods may interact with those medications and diminish their effectiveness.

We’ve listed a few examples of potentially problematic food-drug interactions. You may want to avoid these foods when taking the types of drugs shown.

Green Leafy Vegetables Blood thinners
Aged Cheese Antidepressants
Alcohol Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, diabetes medications, cold and flu drugs, beta-blockers, sleeping pills
Coffee/Caffeinated Beverages Asthma medications, anti-anxiety drugs, decongestants
Dairy Products Antibiotics
Grapefruit Juice Cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood thinners, blood pressure drugs, tranquilizers, antidepressants

These food-drug interactions are presented for general information only. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for advice pertaining to your personal situation; LACERA does not offer medical advice.

Source:,, medline plus