Some Antibiotics and Milk Don’t Mix – Here’s Why

antibiotics and milk

Antibiotics and Milk. When and Why Not to Mix Them.

In case you haven’t heard it before, antibiotics and milk aren’t a great mixture, but does this statement apply to all antibiotics? Antibiotics and milk aren’t the only enemies because there’s a whole list of foods to avoid when taking antibiotics. Because we need the antibiotics we’re taking to be effective, they must be absorbed into our body through our gastrointestinal track and that’s where what not to eat while on antibiotics comes in. You want to avoid certain foods that can make your antibiotics less effective. Continue reading to learn about why antibiotics and milk aren’t a great mix as well as other foods to avoid when taking antibiotics. 

Learn more about foods that don’t mix with antibiotics here.

Antibiotics and Milk

Milk isn’t the only thing that can interfere with antibiotics, other medications and foods can as well. When you are taking antibiotics, they must be absorbed into your body and bloodstream via the gastrointestinal tract. Once the antibiotic is in your bloodstream it can reach the area that is being brought down with infection. There are certain factors that can change the antibiotics effects on your body such as acid, fat or other substances in the stomach. Milk and tetracycline antibiotics are not a great mix because of the reaction they have. When milk is mixed with this specific type of antibiotic the milk binds to it and prevents it from being absorbed in the stomach. Tetracycline’s are one of the first antibiotics to ever become available and are still commonly used. They can be used to treat acne, skin infections, respiratory tract infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infections as well as genital infections. It can also be used to treat Lyme disease and to help prevent anthrax infections.

When you begin to take an antibiotic, make sure to follow the instructions that your doctor gives you as well as what is on the bottle. Not following directions can lead to unwanted effects or a failure of the antibiotic. Continue reading to find out what not to eat while on antibiotics and what can reduce the effectiveness of your antibiotics.

Foods to avoid when taking antibiotics

It’s easy to find a list of foods to eat while taking antibiotics, but it is also important to understand what not to eat while on antibiotics. Certain things, such as milk, can have negative reactions with the antibiotic, lessening its effectiveness.

Grapefruit – grapefruit and grapefruit juice is one of the foods to avoid when taking antibiotics because it can prevent the body from breaking down the medication correctly and this can cause harm to you.

Calcium Products – taking antibiotics with dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese can affect how your body absorbs the antibiotic. According to NCBI, you may need to wait up to three hours after eating dairy products to take your antibiotic.

Alcohol – Alcohol is another thing to avoid while on antibiotics because not only does alcohol affect the way the body absorbs the drug, but it can also lower your tolerance or have negative effects on your liver.

High Fiber Foods – high fiber foods slow the speed at which your stomach empties which meals it slows the antibiotics absorption into the blood stream.

Final Note

When taking antibiotics, the directions on the label should always be followed and the medication should always be taken for the amount of time prescribed by the doctor. Not to mention that antibiotics should always be taken with water. Speak to your doctor about taking probiotics while on your antibiotic or after because they can help reduce side effects as well as promote healthy gut bacteria.

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