When taking antibiotics, there is always the question of whether you should take them with milk? There is also confusion related to whether you should take milk with some antibiotics or you cannot have milk with any of the antibiotics.
The answer is simple – No. To elaborate, you can get the exact answer by reading the prescription bottle. Pharmacists are experts in what they do and their instructions can always answer whether one type of antibiotic can be taken with milk or not.
Now, to get down to the nitty-gritty details of the matter. To be useful, oral antibiotics need to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, enter the bloodstream, and be delivered to the target area.
There are several factors that influence the body’s ability to make use of the antibiotics. Some of these include the acidity of your stomach, the present of nutrients and fats in the stomach, and whether some elements such as calcium are present.
All these factors influence the way the antibiotics are used and if they reach their target destination (infected area). The antibiotic family that cannot be taken with milk is tetracyclines. This is because the calcium present in the milk binds with antibiotic and prevents gut absorption.
In this regard, RPS spokesperson, Neal Patel told the Daily Mail, “Calcium in milk binds with the antibiotic and this change means it cannot get into the bloodstream to fight infection. Even if the milk affects just half of the drug, you’re only getting half the dose, which could mean the infection isn’t killed off by the end of the course.”
He also pointed out that in addition to not taking milk with the antibiotic, you should also keep other dairy products such as cheese, ice cream, and custard at bay. Don’t have them for 2 or more hours after having the drug.
A very small amount of milk does not leave much of an impact though. Therefore, the milk in your tea is mostly okay.
Other foods to avoid taking with antibiotics
You need to refrain from taking some foods when you are on an antibiotics course. These include:
1. High-fiber foods
High-fiber foods like beans, whole grains, raspberries, and lentils slow the rate at which your stomach is emptied. When that happens, the antibiotic stays in your gut for longer instead of heading over to the affected site as soon as possible. While eating such foods that slow your stomach’s emptying are good for losing weight, these are not suitable for intake with antibiotics.
2. Acidic foods
Avoid acidic foods are mainly citrus juices, chocolate, carbonated beverages, and tomato-based products such as ketchup. These interfere with the body’s capability to absorb medications. In particular, grapefruit and its juice can also interfere with the absorption of medications including antibiotics.
3. Dairy products except for yogurt
As discussed above, dairy foods interfere with the absorption of the antibiotic from the gut into the bloodstream. To revise, calcium present in the milk binds with the drug and prevents its absorption. You can have yogurt though. It provides important probiotic strains that helpful when it comes to taking antibiotics.
Other factors to keep in mind
When taking antibiotics, you need to keep some more things in your mind:
- If you have had a calcium or iron supplement or eaten a food that is high in either of these minerals, then wait 3 hours before having the antibiotic
- Avoid taking alcohol with antibiotics too because it does not interfere with the absorption ability but may show unpleasant side effects
- Add probiotics to your diet as these can prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics
To recap, read the instructions on your prescription bottle to learn if you can take milk with your antibiotic or not. Generally, it is best to avoid taking milk with antibiotics.