You start your day with a hot cup of coffee and go to the bathroom like most Americans. This is a common caffeine effect.
Coffee may stimulate your stomach, speeding up digestion, according to research.1 Your morning coffee may interact with drugs and slow their absorption into your system.
That implies drinking coffee with your prescription may affect its efficacy. In 2020, researchers examined how coffee affects many drugs. Coffee “significantly affects the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of many drugs.”
Coffee does not impact all drugs. Learn which medications should not be mixed with coffee and what to check for.
Meds for thyroid
Hypothyroidism occurs when your butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the front of your neck doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This causes weight gain, dry skin, joint pain, hair loss, and irregular menstruation.
Levothyroxine and other thyroid medicines help balance hormones in many people. Studies reveal that drinking coffee with thyroid medication reduces absorption, making it less effective.
Coffee alters intestine L-thyroxine absorption. Thyroid 18(3):293-301 (2008).
Coffee can lower thyroid drug absorption by more than half, according to patient case reports.
Cold or allergy medicine
Millions use cold and allergy medications with central nervous system stimulants like pseudoephedrin.
Coffee is a stimulant, so rinsing your allergy med with coffee may worsen restlessness and insomnia.
Coffee might overstimulate your central nervous system, making allergy medications like fexofenadine more restless.
Always with your doctor before mixing coffee and cold or allergy drugs.
Medications for diabetes
Mixing coffee with sugar or milk may raise blood sugar and impair diabetes medication. Additionally, caffeine may aggravate diabetes symptoms, according to studies.
According to an American Diabetes Association study, caffeine-containing drinks like coffee can elevate insulin and blood sugar.
More research is needed, but the study warned that caffeine could make blood sugar management harder and increase the risk of diabetes complications.
U.S. and Western countries have high rates of diabetes and prediabetes. Over 37 million Americans have diabetes, and nearly 100 million have prediabetes, according to the CDC.
Almost nobody knows they have it. With those figures, millions use diabetes meds everyday.
Medicine for Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s, the seventh largest cause of death in America, usually affects those over 65. The brain illness impairs cognitive function, making it hard to think, remember, and do daily tasks. Millions of Americans take Alzheimer’s medicine.
Coffee affects Alzheimer’s drugs including donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine. Coffee caffeine thickens the blood-brain barrier, reducing medication absorption. High coffee consumption reduces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which Alzheimer’s drugs protect.
Medications for asthma
A chronic lung illness, asthma irritates and inflames airways. This causes difficulties breathing, coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. Millions of American children and adults take asthma drugs.
During asthma attacks, many patients take aminophylline or theophylline. Bronchodilators relax airways, making breathing easier, however they might cause headaches, restlessness, stomach pain, and irritation.
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can increase these side effects.
Coffee can also affect medicine absorption and effectiveness.
Medication for osteoporosis
Your bones become weak and fragile with osteoporosis, increasing your risk of breakage. Women, especially postmenopausal women, experience osteoporosis in millions.
Because coffee reduces the efficacy of osteoporosis drugs like risedronate and ibandronate, they should not be taken together. Take these drugs before eating or drinking and wash them down with water. Thus, your body will maximize drug absorption. Coffee can impair the efficacy of some drugs by more than half.
One in 10 youths and adults take antidepressants daily, per the CDC. They are the most prescribed medications for 20- and 30-year-olds, and their use has skyrocketed in recent decades. They can treat depression, a mood condition that affects mood and function.
Coffee affects how your body uses antidepressants. Coffee can alter the metabolism of fluvoxamine, amitriptyline, escitalopram, and imipramine, especially in significant concentrations. Coffee reduces drug absorption.
In instance, fluvoxamine increases coffee adverse effects, according to studies. This can cause heart palpitations and sleeplessness. Take your prescription and avoid coffee for a time.
Antipsychotics aid schizophrenia, mania, major depressive disorder, and other mental health conditions. Four million Americans take these drugs annually. Antipsychotics block brain receptors or neurotransmitters.
Psychosis medications include phenothiazine, clozapine, haloperidol, and olanzapine. If you wait until morning to drink coffee, your body absorbs less drugs. Coffee alters the metabolism of many of these drugs, according to research. Instead of coffee, take your prescription with water for maximum impact.
Blood Pressure Drug
Tens of millions of Americans have uncontrolled hypertension, according to the CDC. Hypertension raises heart disease and stroke risk. A widespread, quiet disease, it rarely shows symptoms.
Many patients use blood pressure drugs like verapamil or propranolol, which reduce the heart rate. That makes your heart work less to pump blood to all your cells.
However, drinking coffee while taking blood pressure drugs like felodipine may reduce absorption. The drug may not work as well. Discuss pill and morning cup timing with your doctor.
Melatonin, a hormone produced by the body, induces sleep. The hormone tells your brain to relax when the sun sets. Melatonin supplements are sold OTC as a sleep aid.
Coffee, however, awakens you. Melatonin works the opposite of coffee caffeine. It can keep you awake and make falling asleep difficult. Coffee reduces melatonin production and efficacy. Melatonin with coffee may cancel one other out.
When To See A Doctor
If you take any of these medications, especially if they’re indicated to be taken in the morning, wait your first cup of coffee.
If you take many medications, talk to your doctor about balancing coffee and drugs. Your doctor can help you manage side effects include restlessness, jitteriness, and insomnia.