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I'm a Pharmacist and Warn You Don't Take This With Food

If you're taking these medications, think twice about taking them with food. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Taking certain medications might mean you need to switch up your routine a bit, including the foods you eat. Some prescribed meds can interact with food or just not work effectively if taken with a snack or meal, so it's always advisable to speak with your physician or pharmacist to learn more about the medication. Eat This, Not That! Health talked with Thomas So, PharmD, Senior Manager in the Consumer Drug Information Group at FDB who shares five medications not to take with food and why. As always, please consult with your doctor for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



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Dr. So tells us, "Levothyroxine  should be taken on an empty stomach, because certain foods and dietary fiber can decrease the amount of drug that your body absorbs. Lessening the amount of this hormone can lead to symptoms such as dry skin, sensitivity to cold temperatures, weight gain, constipation and weakness."


Alendronate (Fosamax™)


Dr. So explains, "Alendronate (Fosamax™) is a bisphosphonate used to slow bone loss, reducing the risk for broken bones. It is recommended that alendronate be taken on an empty stomach before the first food, beverage, or other medications of the day. Taking alendronate with food can decrease the amount that your body absorbs, thus decreasing the effects of alendronate on bone strength."


Zolpidem (Ambien™)

bad sleep

"Zolpidem (Ambien™) is a sedative-hypnotic used to treat insomnia," says Dr. So. "Zolpidem should be taken on an empty stomach. If taken with food or right after a meal, zolpidem will take longer to help you fall asleep."


Tacrolimus (Prograf™)

Young Hispanic woman choosing between antibiotics or alternative medicine.

Dr. So explains, "Tacrolimus (Prograf™) is an immunosuppressant used to prevent organ transplant rejection. Tacrolimus is best taken on an empty stomach. Food can decrease the amount of tacrolimus that your body absorbs, making it less able to prevent organ transplant rejection."


Frovatriptan (Frova™)

woman taking a pill with water
Shutterstock / fizkes

Dr. So states, "Frovatriptan (Frova™) is a triptan used to treat migraine headaches.  Frovatriptan is best taken on an empty stomach. Though food does not affect the amount of frovatriptan your body absorbs, food can slow the time it takes to get migraine relief."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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