Taking medicines with coffee

Taking medicines with milk, coffee, juices & soft drinks? Stop it!

A glass of water is always the best choice when it comes to taking medicines like tablets. But, often times you take that tablet with a cup of milk, or coffee or the morning cup of tea, isn’t it? You do it just to mask the taste of the tablet or simply because you are lazy to go get a glass of water when a cup of coffee is already in front of you! Have you ever thought about the complications that could arise from the medicine interacting with such drinks? In this article, I’m going to tell you just that! So, be prepared!


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Coffee & Tea

These hot favorite beverages of humans contain “caffeine” that has so many effects on our body. A similar chemical compound is present in so many medicines that we take and in other cases, caffeine interacts with the chemicals in them leading to several complications. Here are a few examples of medicines that you should avoid taking along with a cup of coffee or tea:


  • Medicines used to treat Asthma-like Terbutaline, Albuterol
  • Nervous system stimulants like amphetamine, ephedrine
  • Antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin
  • Don’t take coffee with Alendronate, a medicine used to treat osteoporosis
  • Estrogen-containing medicines especially some birth control pills

I have cited only a few common examples above. If you cannot avoid taking these medicines or stop taking these medicines with coffee, it will be wiser to consult your doctor for making changes.

Tea also has caffeine content in it, but it’s less when compared to a cup of coffee. Tea or coffee, whatever be your favorite beverage, just keep in mind to washdown that daily medicine only with a glass of water! Which is your favorite drink, Coffee or Tea? Comment below.


Cow’s milk

Drink a glass full of cow’s milk every day and become strong! That’s true. The only medicines that can be safely taken with a cup of milk are calcium tablets and some vitamin D supplements. In other cases, when you plan about taking that next tablet with that cup of milk, think again!

  • Milk is calcium-rich and therefore it binds to certain medicines and decreases its absorption from the gut. Thyroid hormone supplements have been studied in persons who consume milk regularly and it has been found that the absorption of Thyroid medicines is drastically affected when taken with calcium-rich drinks like milk or even a cup of coffee! So next time after taking that thyroid pill, wait for 4 hours before drinking your glass of milk!
  • Antibiotics belonging to the Tetracyclin group like Doxycycline, Minocycline should not be taken with milk. It decreases antibiotic action and sometimes can even lead to dangerous allergies. Doxycycline is commonly given for many infections and widely used in the prophylaxis of leptospirosis.


Carbonated soft drinks

Do you like fizzy drinks? Comment “yes” if you have taken your medicine along with Pepsi or Coca-Cola! I strongly recommend you to stop drinking such bottled beverages! And don’t even think about taking that medicine with such drinks, because you are inviting severe drug complications by doing so.

Soft drinks are acidic in nature and it has several effects on our gut and digestive mechanism. Antibiotics become useless if you drink it with soft colas. Iron supplements for anemia are not absorbed from the gut when taken with carbonated drinks.


Grapefruit Juice


This is not the grape that we buy from the market, grapefruits are different more citrus in nature and they have several interactions with medicines. Be really careful if you love grapefruit juice because it interacts with more than 50 medicines and some of them are dangerous.

  • If you have been prescribed “statins” to lower the blood cholesterol levels, please don’t flush it down with grapefruit juice! Examples of statins? Here goes – Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Rosuvastatin. Just look out for the “statin” at the end of the tablet’s name
  • Do not drink grape juice with medicines like Nifedipine, Felodipine used to treat high blood pressure
  • No grapefruit juice with Olanzapine, Midazolam, Carbamazepine, Valium, Lithium used to treat mental and psychic disorders
  • Be careful while taking grapefruit juice with Diazepam, Tegretol medicines used for controlling seizures
  • Grapefruit juice has interactions with anti-histamines like Allegra
  • Be cautious if you are on Viagra or other sildenafil containing pills used for treating impotence and erection problems.


I haven’t covered all the medicine interactions here. If you think there are some problems with the medicines that you have been taking with coffee or tea, it could easily be the drinks that are causing the issue. Simply switch it with a glass of water and tell me how it goes. If you have any more doubts, feel free to leave a comment below or you can find me and several other doctors on Dofody!

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