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Coffee And Medication Don’t Always Mix

jimmyroq/Flickr

Coffee is one of my favorite drinks, especially in the morning.  There is nothing better than that first, hot cup of coffee in the morning.

How much do you drink a day?  Two, three, or more cups a day?  Well, if you’re an average American adult, you drink about three cups of coffee a day.  

Okay, and my point is?

I found an article in The New York Times regarding coffee…..and drugs.  With so many American’s taking drugs for some ailment or another, the article says, be careful.  Really!  They’re saying that studies are now showing that more than a dozen medications — antidepressants, estrogen, and thyroid and osteoporosis drugs, for example — can be affected by coffee, which can block absorption or enhance the effects of the drugs.

Christopher Furlong / Mario Tama, Getty Images

Whoops!

For example, some people who drank coffee shortly before or after taking levothyroxine, a  thyroid medication, absorbed 55 percent less of the drug. The osteoporosis drug alendronate was similarly affected by coffee consumption.

Uh-oh!

On the other hand, some prescription drugs can actually enhance the effects of caffeine.  Is that a good thing?  They seem to block an enzyme that helps metabolize it, making caffeine stay in the body several hours longer than it otherwise would.

What’s the bottom line here?  Be smart, and safe.  Ask your doctor if your morning cup of java will interact with any of your prescribed medications.

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