Which foods and drugs can interact dangerously with antibiotics?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

In the following list, you'll find the most common and easily avoided sources of adverse drug reactions concerning antibiotics. Keep this list handy and review it whenever you bring home a new prescription for an antibiotic - even after your doctor and pharmacist have vetted it with you.


There are different classes of antibiotics, and your risk of a drug interaction often increases with the dosage of the drug you take. Antibiotics can be overused, so make sure that taking one is necessary to treat your condition.

  • Penicillin and ampicillin interact with grapefruit juice: May reduce [increase] absorption of the antibiotic.
  • Tetracyclines interact with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and aluminum or dairy products: May bind together and prevent absorption, reducing effectiveness of antibiotics.
  • Tetracyclines interact with anti-coagulants: Decreases the effects of the blood-clotting medication.
  • Erythromycin interacts with theophylline, an asthma drug: Increases levels of the asthma drug.
  • Erythromycin interacts with statin drugs such as Lovastatin, as well as many other cholesterol-altering drugs: Increased risk of muscle aches and soreness.
  • Erythromycin interacts with anti-convulsant drugs such as carbamazepine: Decreases their excretion and so increases the effect of the anti-convulsant medication.
  • Fluoroquinolones (such as Cipro) interact with mineral supplements such as calcium, magnesium, and aluminum: May bind together, reducing the effectiveness of the antibiotics.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.