Foods you need to be careful with Drug Interaction (1)

Foods you need to be careful with Drug Interaction (1)

Foods you need to be careful with Drug Interaction (1)

We are often directed to take medicines after each meal. However, the medicine may interact with food within a body, and work less effectively, or cause a dangerous side effect.

Even the food that is known as healthy for our body, there are dangerous combinations with some medicines. We need to be careful not to take these foods too much at once.

In this article, we will talk about the dangerous combinations of medicine and meat / fish.

If digestive medicine is taken after eating a beef steak, medicine doesn’t work and stomachache or heavy feeling will continue

Antacid, which suppresses the excessive secretion of gastric acid, works for heartburn and burp among the unpleasant symptoms of stomach. The main compositions are aluminium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide.

These ingredients are incompatible with meats, and lower the medicational efficacy. This is because phosphoric acid contained in meat sticks together with antacid in stomach, and antacid will be unable to demonstrate its ability to suppress the secretion of gastric acid.

Please avoid the meat dish such as steak and BBQ when taking the stomach medicine which contains antacid. If you feel your stomach heavy after eating meat, instead of antacid, you might want to take prokinetic agent which enhances gastrointestinal motility.

Example(s) of antacid: Aluminium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide (Product name: ACTAL PLUS, GELUSIL PLUS, atc.)

Example(s) of prokinetics: Domperidone (Product name: Motilium), metoclopramide (Product name: Metoclopramide)

If hyperlipidemia medicine is taken after eating a fatty meat, medicine doesn’t work and side effect may occur

Some hyperlipidemia medicines have bad chemistry with fat content because it easily melts with fat and absorbed into body too much. And then the effects appear too strong, or side effects like gastric distress or diarrhea may also appear.

Another example of the bad combination with fat are a prescribed medicine for athlete’s foot and a supplement for osteoporosis. Be warned of taking too much fat while on these medicine. It is safer to choose meat with less fat.

Example(s) of hyperlipidemia medicine (supplement): Ethyl icosapentate (EPA)

Example(s) of athlete’s foot medicine: Itraconazole (Product name: Sporanox)

Example(s) of osteoporosis medicine (supplement): Menatetrenone (Vitamin K)

Example(s) of food with much fat content: Beef, pork, chicken, saury, macadamia nut, walnut, almond, pie crust, butter cake, instant noodle, fatty cut of tuna, whip cream

Although taking excess amount at once is not good, saury or nuts contains healthy fatty acid as well, and you want to take these for a small amount frequently.

If tuberculosis medicine is taken after eating tuna or yellowtail, food poisoning may occur due to a histamine intoxication

When eating a fish which contains much histidine while on tuberculosis medicine, taking too much histamine causes symptoms of poisoning.

Histidine creates histamine using the bacterias which fish has on its body. And tuberculosis medicine works to reduce the enzyme that metabolizes histamine. When these two happens at the same time, your body is taking excess amount of histamine.

Histamine is one of the causative agents for food poisoning. The amount of histamine on fish increases, especially the ones which lost in freshness, and the risk of dangerous drug interaction gets high. Histamine does not get removed even cooked with heat. We need to stay away from the fish which lost its freshness while on the medication for tuberculosis.

Symptoms of histamine intoxication: Fever, hot flashes of face, dizziness, nausea, itch (eyelid, mouth, and ear), hives, diarrhea, etc.

Example(s) of tuberculosis medicine: Isoniazid (Product name: Isoniazid)

Example(s) of fish that contains histidine: Tuna, swordfish, Japanese amberjack, sardine, yellowtail, mackerel

Histidine works for losing weight?

Recent research says that histidine is effective for weight loss. However, the effectiveness and safety, when large amount was taken, are not sufficiently established. To avoid the dangerous drug interaction, you want to take histidine supplements after consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


In this article, we explained the compatibility of meat and fish with the certain medicines. We hope you now have the idea that there are incompatible combinations of medicine and the food that we are eating everyday without paying any attention.

So shall we just avoid meat and fish? 

That is not necessary at all. As said above, there is no problem as long as you do not eat steak or fatty meat in large amount at once, and the fishes like tuna and yellowtail rarely have problem if served while it is fresh.

We want to keep in mind to eat fresh foods as soon as possible after purchased and to eat moderate amount.

In next article, we will talk about vegetable and its compatibility with medicine.

Back to blog