Can you drink milk while taking antibiotics?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you drink milk while taking antibiotics” with an in-depth analysis of the interactions between milk and antibiotic components that may result in the reduced absorption or low health effects of the antibiotics.

Moreover, we are going to highlight how milk interacts with antibiotics, what is food-drug interaction, what are some common examples, and how we can take antibiotics to avoid these interactions.

Can you drink milk while taking antibiotics?

No, you cannot drink milk while taking antibiotics due to the interaction of milk with different components present in antibiotics. This interaction is mainly due to the presence of calcium in milk that forms insoluble and unabsorbable compounds. In this way, the milk can delay the option, affect bioavailability, and alter the proper functioning of the antibiotics.

Interaction of milk with antibiotics:

Different foods can interact with antibiotics and thus, can reduce their absorption and normal function in the human body. Milk is also one of those foods that can negatively impact the availability of antibiotics in the digestive tract.

Dairy products can interfere with the absorption of some antibiotics, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. The main reason behind this reduced absorption is that the calcium, naturally present in milk, forms bonds with the compounds in antibiotics as a result of which insoluble substances are produced in the stomach and small intestine that are unabsorbable and can come out of the GIT as it is.

Dairy products do not produce any illness or unpleasant conditions, they just reduce the bioavailability of antibiotics in the digestive system. The best way to avoid this interaction is to maintain an appropriate gap between ingestion of these two products, which are antibiotics and milk products (cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt).

Find out more about drinking milk while taking penicillin and amoxicillin.

Food-drug interaction:

A food-drug interaction is defined as the interference of food and drug with another. These interactions may happen in the case of both, prescribed as well as the over-the-counter medications and not all the medications interact with all types of foods. Different medicines interact with different foods in different manners.

The common results of the food-drug interaction may include reduced absorption of the medicine in the body due to the formation of unabsorbable complexes. Some foods can also delay the absorption of medicinal components, resulting in the delayed elevation of the symptoms.

Some foods can cause a chemical reaction with the medicinal components and produce side effects. For instance, consumption of grapefruit juice with cholesterol-lowering drugs and high potassium foods with ACE inhibitors.

Common food-drug interactions:

The bioavailability, absorption time, and unwanted reactions of the drugs can be affected by age, gender, weight, medical illness, a dose of medicine, and uptake of other medicines, vitamins, and supplements at the time of consumption of that drug.

Some of the common food-drug interactions are as follows:

  • Due to the excessive amount of vitamin K in green leafy vegetables, the thinning ability of the blood by aspirin is reduced.
  • Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug, when consumed with grapefruit juice is absorbed higher than the normal as this juice may interact with the way of absorption of compounds, statins, present in this drug.
  • Grapefruit juice also affects the absorption of drugs that are known for reducing blood pressure, Calcium channel blockers. In this case, the juice interacts with the breaking down of this drug in the body and results in increased levels of this drug in the blood.
  • Dairy products can decrease the absorption of antibiotics by decreasing the bioavailability of this compound as the calcium present in dairy products form insoluble and unabsorbable complexes with the antibiotic compounds.
  • Diabetic pills or insulin effects are prolonged by consuming them with alcohol. Alcohol when consumed with acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage.

Guidelines for taking antibiotics:

Besides knowing the basics about the interaction of foods and antibiotics, they should be taken as directed by the doctors as improper intake of antibiotics make them ineffective and useless.

  • Antibiotics need some time when they are ingested which means that they do not produce results as soon as they are consumed. So, one should not overdose or take repeated doses to get instant effects.
  • Always complete your antibiotics course as most people stop taking medicines as soon as they feel better. This may cause the improper treatment of infections that can reoccur.
  • If you have missed a dose, don’t take double or missed doses to complete the course instead try to follow the prescribed timings and doses until all the doses are finished.
  • Women should be careful while taking antibiotics as they reduce the effectiveness of birth control.
  • Always maintain a gap between antibiotics with certain foods, other antibiotics, and other medicines.

You can find more about how to take antibiotics properly here.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you drink milk while taking antibiotics” with an in-depth analysis of the interactions that may happen as a result of consuming milk and antibiotics together. Moreover, we discussed how milk and antibiotic components interact with one another, what are some common food-drug interactions, and how you can take antibiotics properly.

Citations:

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Does-What-You-Eat-Affect-Antibiotic-Effectiveness.aspx#:~:text=It’s%20recommended%20that%20dairy%20 products,calcium%20may%20 also%20 reduce%20effectiveness.

https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/interaction-of-antibiotics-with-dairy-products.htm

https://familydoctor.org/drug-food-interactions/#:~:text=A%20 drug%2Dfood%20integration%20 occurs,or%20when%20you%20eat%20it.

https://www.bvhealthsystem.org/expert-health-articles/common-food-drug-interactions

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.