Updated: August 26, 2011

Surprisingly, some everyday substances, like a glass of milk or a vitamin supplement, can render certain drugs ineffective or even harmful. "Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you're taking," says Michael DeLuca, Pharm.D., a spokesman with the consumer pharmacy site pdrhealth.com, who informed us about these three risky combos.

  1. ST. JOHN'S WORT AND BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
    The herb St. John's Wort, as well as certain antibiotics like doxycycline, may stimulate enzymes in the liver to metabolize oral contraception more quickly, lowering the amount of it in your bloodstream.

  2. DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ANTIBIOTICS
    The calcium in dairy, in addition to minerals found in multivitamins like zinc, aluminum, and magnesium, can bind to prescription antibiotics such as ciprofl oxacin and block their absorption in the body.

  3. GINKGO BILOBA AND ASPIRIN
    Both the herb and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin have blood-thinningproperties. Taking high doses of each simultaneously may lead to intestinal bleeding.

ST. JOHN'S WORT AND BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
The herb St. John's Wort, as well as certain antibiotics like doxycycline, may stimulate enzymes in the liver to metabolize oral contraception more quickly, lowering the amount of it in your bloodstream.

DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ANTIBIOTICS
The calcium in dairy, in addition to minerals found in multivitamins like zinc, aluminum, and magnesium, can bind to prescription antibiotics such as ciprofl oxacin and block their absorption in the body.

GINKGO BILOBA AND ASPIRIN
Both the herb and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin have blood-thinningproperties. Taking high doses of each simultaneously may lead to intestinal bleeding.

Get the lowdown on Rx interactions at drugdigest.com.

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