Can you eat antibiotics without food?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat antibiotics without food?”, and other queries related to this topic.

Can you eat antibiotics without food? 

Yes, you can eat antibiotics without food. However, if you feel abdominal discomfort, consider eating the next time you want to take your medication. 

Moreover, it is recommended to be consistent in time when taking your antibiotics to avoid antibiotic resistance.

In addition, taking medications with food is recommended for some types of antibiotics to reduce your risk of developing nausea and vomiting. 

Nevertheless, for some types of antibiotics such as tetracycline, food can reduce their effect, so it is better to take them on an empty stomach. 

Generally, antibiotics that should be taken on an empty stomach are Flucloxacillin and Penicillin. Metronidazole and trimethoprim are types of antibiotics that should be taken after food consumption. Finally, Ciprofloxacin and Amoxicillin can be taken with or without food.

Regarding medications that should be consumed on an empty stomach, you can take the antibiotic first in the morning before taking your breakfast or throughout the day. But make sure to take them one hour before the meal or two hours after to get more of their effect.

Furthermore, some food might interfere with the metabolism or the absorption of this medication. 

For example, to be active the antibiotic should be digested by several enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract, yet, grapefruit consumption will block the effect of these enzymes.

So, in such a case, the antibiotic will not be digested and will stay in your body for a longer time because the grapefruit effect can alter the antibiotic’s digestion process and metabolism for at least 72 hours. 

Additionally, not only does grapefruit affect the metabolism of antibiotics but also, consuming cranberry juice, vitamin K-rich food such as green leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach as well salt substitutes that are high in potassium interact with the medication.

Also, the avoidance of dairy products is advised in case of taking antibiotics like norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin. 

However, the patient can still consume them during the day but he should keep at least two hours between the medication and his meal.

Moreover, not only antibiotics are affected by several compounds in food when ingested. But, for example, calcium and iron in food might decrease medication absorption. Some medications like those prescribed to treat osteoporosis are taken on an empty stomach for better absorption.

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a type of medication prescribed to treat bacterial infections. Generally, our immune system can fight against any infection. 

However, in some cases, this system might not be able to fight infections and bacteria. So, antibiotics will be prescribed as a treatment.

Furthermore, antibiotics have two effects on the bacteria, whether they will completely kill the bacteria or they will stop its growth, proliferation, and reproduction. These medications can be prescribed to treat several infections at multiple sites in the body.

Each type of infection requires a specific type of antibiotic. Nevertheless, colds and flu are caused by viruses, so antibiotics do not have any effect on treating such cases. In some cases, the doctor might prescribe several tests before deciding on which medicine to use.

In addition to their healing effect, antibiotics can harm the body. Some antibiotics’ side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. 

In severe cases, some compounds in the antibiotics might lead to itching, skin rash, and coughing.

Finally, do not take antibiotics, or any other medication, without your doctor’s prescription. Because excessive antibiotic intake will lead to bacterial resistance which is a worldwide problem and most infections can be treated without antibiotics.

What should you eat when taking antibiotics?

Maintaining good nutrition while taking antibiotics is crucial. One of the most powerful and important foods to be consumed during this phase is fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and many others.

These foods contain a bacterial called Lactobacillus and probiotics that help in restoring gut microbiota. Antibiotics do not only kill bacteria at the site of infection but also kill the beneficial gut microbiota 

Moreover, people taking antibiotics are advised to increase their fiber intake through the consumption of fiber-rich foods such as legumes, whole-wheat grains, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. High-fiber food can help in reducing the bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

Furthermore, make sure to not over consume high-fiber foods because fiber will lead to a reduction in medication absorption, thus a decrease in its healing effect. Do not stop eating such foods but consume them in moderation because they are high in prebiotics. 

Prebiotics-rich foods like onions, garlic, bananas, asparagus, oats, apples, and flaxseeds help in restoring your gut microbiota and decreasing the bad bacteria in your gut. 

Moreover, wine is high in prebiotics but alcohol, in general, should be completely avoided while taking antibiotics.


In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat antibiotics without food?”, and other queries related to this topic.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.