We understand by interaction between drug and nutrition (FIN) the modification of the effects of a drug by the previous or concurrent administration of nutrients (also called food-drug interaction: AMI) and / or the modification of the effects of nutrients and the state Nutritional interaction by previous or concurrent administration of a drug (also called drug-nutrient interaction: IMN).
Am I at risk for taking several medications?
As a consequence of these interactions, clinical outcomes (nutritional support efficacy and / or pharmacological response) will be altered to a greater or lesser degree.
Food-drug interactions (AMI) that may have significant clinical significance are those in which they are involved:
- Drugs with a narrow therapeutic range, where plasma levels above the range may be toxic and below no therapeutic response
- Drugs that need to maintain a maintained plasma concentration to achieve its effectiveness. For example, some Antibiotics.
- Drug-nutrient interactions (IMN) refer to the effect of medications on nutrients.
Both share many physicochemical properties and common metabolic pathways, so drugs can affect the utilization of nutrients in any of the physiological or metabolic processes related to nutrition, which can cause nutritional deficiencies and alter the nutritional status of the patient
This type of interactions has a greater relevance in the geriatric population, since the elderly are chronic users of drugs for long periods of time. Another important factor to develop this type of interactions is polypharmacy.
In the case of prescription drugs, we will ask our doctor for advice about possible adverse effects that may arise from mixing the medication or prescription drugs with other medicines or with nutrients.
In the case of medicines that we buy without prescription we must read the leaflet to take into account some aspects:
- We will pay special attention to the section Active Ingredients and Purpose, which indicates the quantity and name of each of the active ingredients contained in the product
- The section of use of the label where it tells us what it serves.
- One of the most important sections, Warnings, is in this section where the manufacturer warns us of possible interactions with other drugs or with nutrients.
- In the Instructions section, we will find information about the maximum amount we can take how long we can take it and other instructions to take into account for responsible use of the medication.
Before taking a medicine we should consult with our GP or the pharmacist, the minimum necessary information can be obtained by asking the following questions:
- Can I take it with other medicines or dietary supplements?
- Should I avoid certain foods, beverages or other products?
- What possible drug interactions should I know about?
- How will medicine work in my body?
- Where can I find more information about the medicine or my state of health?
Sometimes different over-the-counter medicines may contain the same “active ingredient.” If you are taking more than one of these medicines, pay particular attention to the “active ingredients” used in the product, to avoid ingesting too much of the same ingredient. In some cases, you should consult your doctor before taking any medicine especially if you are pregnant or nursing a baby. Also make sure that you know the ingredients of the medicines you take, to avoid possible allergic reactions.
We must avoid self-medication in any way, medical professionals and professionals of pharmacology will not give the medicines we need at any time to be able to cure, alleviate or improve the symptoms of the diseases we suffer depending on the severity of these.