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Food and Medication Interactions – Get the Real Facts

A warning by consumer group Choice about the dangers of mixing some foods and drinks with prescription medicines is a timely reminder of the need for people to talk to their pharmacists about the medications they are taking, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said some medicines interacted with certain foods and drinks to either reduce the efficacy of the drug or in some cases to present possible harmful side effects.

“Determining your diet and what may interact with medicines is an important fact to consider and consumers are advised to talk to their pharmacist about this rather than rely on media reports.

“In today’s information-rich environment, conversations about medicines’ use between a pharmacist and their patients take on a new relevance and importance.

“Today’s consumer has access to an unprecedented amount of information on just about every imaginable topic, including heath and all types of medicines, including complementary medicines.

“The use of complimentary is popular among many consumers and more information is becoming available about possible interactions with prescribed medicines so talking to the pharmacist is important.

“For the consumer the volume of information about medicines, their benefits and risks can at times be overwhelming. This can raise issues for consumers and health professionals as to how to ensure ongoing quality use of medicines when the consumer has access to a barrage of information.”

Mr Kardachi urged consumers to talk to their pharmacist if they had any issues or questions concerning how to take their medicines to ensure the best outcomes.

“We don’t want consumer making uniformed decisions about theirs medicines without first consulting a health professional. Pharmacists are the medicines experts and are trained in possible interactions and adverse events. They are there to ensure the Quality Use of Medicines and the best health outcomes for consumers,” he said.

“The risk of misadventure from medication use has dramatically increased over recent years with a more than doubling of the number of daily doses per person.

“There are about 230,000 medication hospital admissions across Australia a year and most of these are avoidable adverse medication events. One way of helping to avoid them is to talk to your pharmacist.”

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