pills not to mix

Medications that You Should Never Mix Together

Last week, we talked about the dangers of mixing household cleaning products. Hopefully, your big takeaway was to not mix cleaning products. Ever.

Today, we’ll talk further about other household chemicals that you should never mix beyond the realm of cleaning products. There are some fascinating mixtures that can occur and you should be aware of them in your home. Most notably:

Grapefruit + Medicines. Grapefruit increases the absorption of medications, and a regular dose can become an overdose if you mix your meds with grapefruit. Make sure to ask your pharmacist about this one if you are on any medications.

Fruit + Medications. Some medications also don’t mix well with fruits. For example, fruits and fruit juices reduce the effectiveness of some allergy medications, such as Allegra. Again, make sure to ask your pharmacist before washing down your morning allergy pill (or other medications) with a glass of apple or orange juice.

Tylenol + Alcohol. We know. You went to college. A great way to recover from a hangover is to drink two bottles of Gatorade and take some Tylenol, right? But mixing Tylenol (or any acetaminophen) with alcohol can cause liver damage.

Advil + Alcohol. So you can spare your liver by inviting ulcers and stomach irritation/bleeding to the party in your tummy.

Henna + Hydrogen Peroxide. Henna hair dye may contain metallic salts. When hydrogen peroxide is mixed with metallic salts, a chemical reaction can occur that will burn your scalp.

And here’s a fun one not to mix, while we’re talking about alcohol:

Alcohol + Morel Mushrooms. Morels contain hydrazine toxins (which is why you must cook them before eating). Even with the toxins mostly being cooked out, alcohol brings out the traces that are left. You won’t feel well (especially in your stomach) if you’re drinking and eating a healthy amount of morels.

Milk + Antibiotics. Okay, so many medications can’t be mixed with other things, but just like the fruit mentions above, this one is important. Mixing milk and antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics. This isn’t life-threatening for most (in the instance that you are just suffering from a sore throat and are otherwise healthy), but it does reduce the quality of the medication and may require you to go through another more powerful dose in the future to treat your illness.

There are a lot of things you shouldn’t mix out there—and not mixing ANYTHING with bleach is the one you should remember the most from these posts. Remember, companies are always looking to create the strongest formulations humans can handle safely—so don’t mix cleaners to try and create something even stronger. And when it comes to medications—always ask when you pick up your prescription. You never know what you can’t mix with your medications.


Henry Duckstein Jr.


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