Excerpt from Food-Medication Interactions 13th edition
by Zaneta M. Pronsky, MS, RD, LDN, FADA

The study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs is referred to
as pharmacokinetics.
The study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of nutrients is
nutrient kinetics.
Absorption: Process by which a drug/nutrient proceeds from the site of administration to
the systemic circulation.
Distribution: Movement of the drug/nutrient from one location to another.
Metabolism: Process by which the drug/nutrient is chemically changed by the action of
enzymes (usually in the liver). The metabolite may become more active, less active or as
active as the parent compound.
Excretion: Process by which the drug/nut rient or metabolites are removed from the body
primarily by the kidneys.
The presence of food in the stomach may decrease the rate and/or extent of drug

* The absorption of the antiosteoporosis drug alendronate (Fosamax) is decreased 60% with coffee or juice. It is NOT absorbed at all when ingested with a meal. Absorption is optimal if taken 2 hours before food. * A high fiber diet may decrease the absorption of tricyclic antidepressants such as Chelation occurs between certain drugs and divalent/trivalent cations Ca, Mg, Al,
Fe, Zn, thus decreasing drug absorption.

* Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) forms an insoluble comp lex with Ca in some dairy products; Ca, Fe, Mg or Zn in supplements; or Ca, Al and/or Mg antacids, decreasing drug absorption. The presence of food in the stomach may enhance the absorption of some drugs.
* The absorption of cefuroxime axetil (Ceftin) is significantly higher when given EFFECT OF FOOD/NUTRIENTS ON MEDICATION DISTRIBUTION
A significant decrease in serum albumin may increase the free fraction of highly
protein bound drugs.

* Hypoalbuminemia (< 3g/dL) provides fewer binding sites for highly protein bound drugs such as phenytoin (Dilantin- 90% bound) and warfarin (Coumadin- 99% bound). Therefore a higher free fraction of drug is available, resulting in increased drug effects. For warfarin this could induce bleeding, while higher phenytoin levels could cause toxicity. EFFECT OF FOOD/NUTRIENTS ON MEDICATION METABOLISM
Food may alter the hepatic metabolism of some drugs.
* Concurrent ingestion of food and propranolol (Inderal) reduces first pass metabolism of the drug. This results in higher serum drug levels. * Grapefruit inhibits metabolism of antihyperlipidemic HMG CoA Reductase inhibitors, e.g. atorvastatin (Lipitor), by cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzymes in the intestinal wall, raising drug blood levels. EFFECT OF FOOD/NUTRIENTS ON MEDICATION EXCRETION
Foods and nutrients may alter the renal excretion of some drugs.
* Lithium (Eskalith) and sodium compete for tubular reabsorption in the kidney. High sodium intake causes more lithium to be excreted. Low sodium intake will cause the kidney to retain lithium, raising blood levels. Effects of Medications on Nutrient Kinetics

Drug complexes with nutrients preventing the absorption of drug, nutrient or both.
* Antibiotics tetracycline and ciprofloxacin (Cipro) chelate with divalent or * Antihyperlipidemic, bile acid sequestrant cholestyramine (Questran) adsorbs fat Drug alters gastric acidity.
* Prolonged use of antiulcer drugs such as cimetidine (Tagamet) may decrease Drug damages mucosal surface.
* Medication induced mucosal damage by antineoplastic drugs may cause EFFECT OF MEDICATION ON NUTRIENT METABOLISM
Drug increases the metabolism of nutrients resulting in higher requirements and
danger of deficiency
* Anticonvulsants phenobarbital and phenytoin (Dilantin) increase the metabolism Drug causes vitamin antagonism.
* Antituberculosis drug isoniazid (INH) inhibits the conversion of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) to the active form. This may cause vitamin B6 deficiency and peripheral neuropathy unless a B6 supplement is also prescribed. EFFECT OF MEDICATION ON NUTRIENT EXCRETION
Drug increases the urinary loss of nutrients.
* Loop diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix), increase excretion of Na, K, Cl, Mg, Drug decreases the urinary excretion of nutrients.
* Thiazide diuretics increase excretion of most electrolytes, but decrease excretion MODIFICATION OF MEDICATION ACTION

Foods or additives have effects similar to those of a drug, enhancing the effects or
toxicity of the drug
* High caffeine intake may increase the adverse effects of theophylline * Tyramine, dopamine or other vasoconstrictors in food enhance the toxic effects of MAO inhibitors, such as tranylcypromine sulfate (Parnate). This effect may cause a hypertensive crisis, which can be fatal. ANTAGONISM OF MEDICATION ACTION
Nutrient or food ingredient may oppose the desired action of the drug.
* Vitamin K aids the production of clotting factors in direct opposition to the action * Caffeine is a stimulant which counteracts the antianxiety effects of tranquilizers. Diet counteracts the effect of the drug.
* High fat diet counteracts the effect of antihyperlipidemic drugs such as lovastatin Effects of Medication on Food Intake and Nutritional Status

Drug may impair salivary flow causing dry mouth and increased caries, stomatitis,

* Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) cause dry mouth and sour Drug may be secreted into the saliva.
* The antibiotic clarithromycin (Biaxin) enters the saliva causing a bitter taste. Drug may suppress natural oral bacteria resulting in oral candidiasis.
* Antibiotics, such as tetracycline, may result in oral yeast overgrowth i.e. Drug may cause dysgeusia (taste change)
* Antibiotic metronidazole (Flagyl) causes metallic taste in the mouth. Drug may damage rapidly proliferating cells.
* The cytotoxic effects of antineoplastics such as cisplatin or methotrexate cause GASTROINTESTINAL EFFECTS
Drug may irritate the stomach mucosa causing distress, nausea, vomiting, bleeding,

* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox) cause stomach irritation, sometimes leading to sudden, serious gastric bleeding. Drug may affect intestinal peristalsis.
* Anticholinergic drugs (antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines) slow Drug may destroy intestinal bacteria.
* Antibiotics (e.g. ciprofloxacin (Cipro) cause overgrowth of Clostridium difficile APPETITE CHANGES
Drug may suppress appetite.
* SSRI antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine (Prozac) may cause anorexia and Drug may increase appetite.
* Tricyclic antidepressants and most antipsychotic drugs, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and clozapine (Clozaril), stimulate appetite and weight gain.



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