Caffeine and Medicines - No good friends; Find out why?

All of us love our cups of coffees and various other caffeinated energy drinks! For many, coffee still remains an instant wake-up beverage, but do you know, having coffee or caffeine rich energy drinks with certain medicines can adversely interfere with your line of treatment? 

If you’re still wondering why your medicines are not effective despite timely intake, please read on to find out more.

Harvard Medical School health news states that, coffee contains more than thousand biologically active agents, out of which “caffeine” is one of the main ingredients stimulant responsible for reducing medicine effectiveness(wow!)

So, does this mean we should completely stop having coffee? The answer is “No”.
According to the Food standard agency, an average cup of coffee contains 75mg of caffeine and a freshly cup brewed coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine. Interestingly, research suggests 100 mg caffeine may be taken within permissible limits and it causes negligible medicinal interference. 

But many of us, unknowingly, do not restrict ourselves to just a cup of coffee. We not only exceed but also end up consuming other caffeinated beverages such as colas and other energy drinks along with certain prescribed medications.

This in turn reduces the medicines’ absorption, effectiveness and sometimes increases undesirable symptoms such as anxiety, irritability and insomnia

Let’s have a look at the list of important common medicines with known caffeine interactions.

  1. Levothyroxine (Thyroid pills)
  2. Alprazolam (Anti-anxiety pills)
  3. Clonazepam (Commonly prescribed sedatives)
  4. Ephedrine (Diuretic and diet pills)
  5. Floxacin (Antibiotics)
  6. Bronchodialators (Asthma drugs/inhalers)  

Are you taking any of the above medications? If you are taking these medications along with caffeine, you should consider keeping a check on your caffeine intake to avoid moderate to serious unpleasant medicinal side effects.

Now you can check out the medicine interactions for all your medicines and then buy medicines online 

Common side effects with caffeine

Caffeine when taken along with anti-depressants, anti -anxiety medicines and sedatives was found to increase anxiety, nervousness, irritability, excitability and induce insomnia (difficulty in sleeping) making the above medications ineffective and inversely adding to the problems and doing more harm than good.

Caffeine being a natural diuretic, showed medicinal interference with diuretic, diet pills and thyroid medications resulting in frequent urination and hormonal imbalance. Caffeine was seen to potentially increase the heart rate of people taking Bronchodilators making their condition bad to worse.

Caffeine was found to raise the blood pressure (BP) from 10 to 15 points in people without any BP complaints. Hence physicians recommend limiting the amount of caffeine in people with BP conditions and even others without any BP issues because there is certain component in caffeine which elevates blood pressure.

Caffeine also blocked the absorption of the above listed drugs to a significant extent leaving the course of treatment ineffective in all the ways.

So, next time when you take medicine, check for labels. Also, ask your doctor if your medicines have any interaction with caffeine. If they have, what is the permissible amount to be taken? 

Good news for coffee lovers too! 

There is a whole new concept of decaffeinated, roasted, filtered coffee available in stores which have lesser caffeine content and related side-effects. Hence, the trick is not to stop completely but to choose wisely. Enjoy your day with healthy coffee!