Dr Ovo Ogbinaka, a medical practitioner with a private hospital in Warri, has advised patients on medications not to mix food with medicine.
Ogbinaka gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Tuesday.
He said: “A drug is any substance that causes a change in an organism’s physiology or psychology when consumed.
“Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support.”
“The foods we eat can interfere with the medications we take.
“Patients may not recognise that otherwise healthy foods can have severe consequences when mixed with certain drugs.
“As medication experts, pharmacists should recognise their responsibility to clearly communicate the risk of possible food-drug interactions for both prescription and Over-The-Counter medicines.
“Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese can interfere with certain medications, including antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline and ciprofloxacin.
“These antibiotics may bind to the calcium in milk, forming an insoluble substance in the stomach and upper small intestine that the body is unable to absorb.
“Bad interactions from mixing prescriptions can occur not only when you are taking more than one drug but also when you are taking medications as well as consuming alcohol or using supplements.
“Patients should always be wary of mixing any medication with alcohol, but some interactions are more serious than others.
“For instance, ingesting alcohol while taking a prescription stimulant could cause the patient to not fully realise how intoxicated they are.
“Patients who mixed medicine with their food eventually discover, but have a lesser treatment, because the food chemicals have reduced the quality of the drug.’’
Ogbinaka therefore advised that patients should take medicine with water only, revealing that it makes the drugs work better.