Foods to Avoid While on Antibiotics


Antibiotics are prescribed to ward off bacterial infections. They work by halting the growth of bacteria. The type of antibiotic used will vary depending on the type of bacteria present within your body. Because of this, your physician will provide you with specific instructions on how to administer your antibiotics. This may include avoiding certain foods.

Dairy Products

Some antibiotics such as Cipro contain quinolone, an active ingredient used to prevent the replication of bacteria. The ingestion of dairy may decrease the absorption of an antibiotic. This means that eating dairy could make the use of some antibiotics ineffective. Dairy products include milk, ice cream and cheeses. Consult with your physician about ingesting yogurt while taking and antibiotic. Antibiotics of the tetracycline family will require not eating yogurt within a few hours of taking your antibiotic.

Bowl of yogurt
Bowl of yogurt (Image: Lilyana Vynogradova/iStock/Getty Images)

Acidic Foods

Acidic foods, which include cranberries, oranges and grapefruits, can also decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. Some acidic foods can prevent enzymes within your intestines from metabolizing an antibiotic. Alternatively, avoid juices containing acidic fruits.

Bucket of cranberries
Bucket of cranberries (Image: darkbird77/iStock/Getty Images)

Leafy Vegetables

Leafy vegetables including kale, broccoli and spinach can interact with your antibiotic. Vitamin K is found in many leafy green foods. Vitamin K can prevent the absorption of antibiotics into your bloodstream.

Kale (Image: zona/iStock/Getty Images)


Alcohol can produce several undesirable effects. Consumption of alcohol while on antibiotics can result in nausea and sleepiness. Certain antibiotics such as metronidazole, causes vomiting, rapid heart rate and other severe effects, as noted by Those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol will require a higher dosage of an antibiotic to achieve the desired result.

Woman pouring a glass of wine
Woman pouring a glass of wine (Image: webphotographeer/iStock/Getty Images)

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