Mixing up caffeine and prescription drugs – yay or nay?
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult with your health care professional with any medical or health related questions.
If you’re under medication and yearning to reach for that cup of joe, then this is a very important question.
According to a report by the New York Times, coffee can prevent some medications from working at their peak. 
Some interactions are even considered lethal. Others have mild to moderate effects, so you'll need to consult a medical professional to find out whether it's safe to go ahead with your java fix, or better do away with it.
Depending on the drug you're taking, interactions can lead to adverse effects such as:
Here are some of the effects from combining certain drugs with caffeine:
Ephedrine, medications for asthma (beta-adrenergic agonists), medications for depression (MAOIs), phenylpropanolamine
Because both caffeine and these drugs are stimulants, taking them at the same time will lead to serious side effects such as heart problems.
Taking caffeine with depression medications may lead to serious side effects such as faster heartbeat, high blood pressure, nervousness, among others.
Some medications for asthma include albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, Volmax) metaproterenol (Alupent), terbutaline (Bricanyl, Brethine), and isoproterenol (Isuprel).
Warning: DO NOT COMBINE EPHEDRINE WITH CAFFEINE, as its effects might be too severe than others.
Adenosine and dipyridamole (Persantine)
These drugs are used for cardiac stress tests that doctors perform to check for heart conditions. Because caffeine might block their effects, make sure you drink your last cup of joe 24 hours before the stress test.
Antibiotics, cimetidine (Tagamet), estrogens, fluvoxamine (Luvox), ticlopidine (Ticlid), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), birth control pills, fluconazole (Diflucan), metformin, methoxsalen, mexiletine (Mexitil), phenothiazines, terbinafine (Lamisil)
Aside from slowing down the body's ability to break down caffeine, these drugs can also increase the latter's side effects, which include jitters, headache, and fast heart beat.
Carbamazepine (Tegretol), ethosuximide, felbamate, phenobarbital, phenytoin, valproate, tiagbine
These drugs are used to treat seizures. Caffeine may either diminish the effects of this drug or increase the likelihood of seizures.
Like in the case of antibiotics, cimetidine can also slow down the body's abiity to break down caffeine and amplify the same side effects such as increased heart rate and jitters.
Clozapine (Clozaril), disulfiram (Antabuse), flutamide (Eulexin), riluzole (Rilutek)
The interaction between these drugs and caffeine may cause the former to stay longer in the body, as caffeine slows down the breakdown of the drugs. Taking caffeine with them might cause high levels in the body and lead to more intense side effects.
Medications that slow blood-clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Caffeine can slow down blood-clotting, so taking anticoagulants with it might lead to bruising and bleeding.
Smokes and coffee? Tempting and habit-forming for some but it'll lead to rapid heart rate and blood pressure.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Both caffeine and water pills can reduce potassium levels in the body, hence combining them will drop it tremendously.
Medications for diabetes
Caffeine can increase or decrease blood sugar. This interaction might either heighten or diminish the effects of diabetes treatment. For diabetics on the mend, it's advisable to watch the blood sugar when taking caffeine.
A good rule of thumb is to always check your diet with the doctor or pharmacist while being on the mend, and specifically ask about any caffeine interactions with the medicine you're about to take.
To be on the safe side, it’s best not to mix high levels of caffeine with any drug that is considered to be a stimulant, i.e. pseudoephedrine found in cold and allergy decongestants.
Of course the best way to steer clear of any trouble is to try to cut back on your caffeine while under medication, or settle for decaf in the meantime.
Have you had any experience with caffeine-drug interactions? Do you have any tips on how to prevent this? Leave them in the comment box below!
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The holidays are upon us. It’s only October but with the rate this year has gotten to the tail-end, we’ll all be wearing our favorite sweatshirts (forcibly or otherwise) and devouring the holiday away in no time.
The forward-looking you will already be starting to watch that *extra holiday weight* before the holiday even starts.
But one step at a time, right? After all, there’s a few weeks left before the celebrations and holiday parties officially kick in.
If the java lover in you has ever been curious whether caffeine can help curb the appetite, now is the perfect time to find some answers.
The word on the street is that caffeine is one of the best appetite suppressants.
Spoiler alert: researches tell us the jury’s still out on this one.
Have you been drinking coffee for years and starting to feel weird sensations after a cuppa? You’ve got to know something.
If you suddenly find yourself going through unusual post-caffeine effects such as anxiety, headache, faster heartbeat and tremors, you may be experiencing a shift in how your body metabolizes caffeine.
Two words: caffeine sensitivity.
Caffeine sensitivity is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s all a matter of our body adapting to caffeine in our system.
However, if all of a sudden you start to feel things that didn’t use to happen after having your caffeine fix, then it’s time to watch that caffeine intake!
What if I tell you that aside from perking you up, caffeine can also help you concentrate and become more productive?
If, during mind-numbing, brain-wracking moments, you want to feel like Popeye going for a whole can of spinach, just reach out for the coffee-maker and you’re likely to feel the same! (For the best java experience, know when’s the best time to drink your coffee here.)
Caffeine can also help you absorb information and remember them more efficiently.
Yep! Our favorite stimulant can boost mental performance in more ways than one. Have a cuppa and you’ll find yourself retaining more information from classes and business meetings, kill it in planning and problem-solving, and finish those day-to-day tasks efficiently.
Without further ado, here are 8 ways caffeine can help us take a step closer to becoming Einstein-genius: