Most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients realize that they must be watchful for dangerous drug mixes because they can have terrible side effects including death. However, many patients do not realize that mixing medications with the wrong foods can have similar debilitating outcomes including the loss of a Kidney Transplant or worse. Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients may use the following insights to avoid dangerous medication and food mixes:
1.) Avoid citrus drinks, fruits, and supplements if you take Immunosuppressant Medication for a Kidney Transplant: Grapefruit and citrus based drinks may interact negatively with immunosuppressant medications, causing toxicity and an increased chance of kidney rejection. Pease note that some citrus-flavored sodas have a grapefruit extract in them, so it is important to check the ingredient lists. Vitamin C supplements have also been found to increase the risk of kidney rejection in Chronic Kidney Disease patients.
2.) Grapefruit is a no-go due to several drug interactions: Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should avoid grapefruit altogether since it is known to have a long list of negative drug interactions with medications for blood pressure, cholesterol (heart complications are the leading cause of death in the Chronic Kidney Disease community), anxiety, malaria, and insomnia.
3.) Herbal teas such as green tea, chamomile, peppermint, and dandelion are dangerous for Kidney Transplant recipients: Living with a transplant requires achieving a balance between having enough of a natural defense system to protect from everyday sicknesses such as a cold or the flu and lowering the immune system enough to protect the transplant from being attacked and rejected by the body. Many herbal products have drug interactions with critical immunosuppressant medications which may increase the risk of rejection. Chronic Kidney Disease patients should seriously consider talking with their Nephrologists before using or continuing the use of herbal teas or other herbal products.
4.) Avoid caffeine if you are using Ambien: The drug Zolpidem (Ambien) is used rather widely by Dialysis patients to treat insomnia and anxiety. However, caffeine counteracts the sedation effects of Ambien by two thirds, according to Dr. Dora Farkas (Tufts University).
5.) Limit leafy green vegetables if you are using blood thinners such as Warfarin (sold under the brand name Coumadin and other names): Leafy greens are part of a healthy diet but when you’re taking anti-blood-clotting medicines, like Warfarin, you need to be careful with your leafy green intake because it will cause the blood to clot. “Warfarin is designed to prevent the production of vitamin K so if you suddenly eat more greens, this will interfere with the medicine,” said Dr. Aisling Hillick.
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