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Anti-Seizure Medications Best Taken with Food?

Q. Both my niece and I have to take anti-seizure medications. Are there any food interactions with Dilantin, Mysoline or Tegretol?

A. This is a crucial question that is often overlooked. Many drugs are affected by food. In some instances, food interferes with proper absorption. For example, yogurt, milk or even calcium supplements can prevent the absorption of certain antibiotics and thyroid hormone. Fiber (bran or psyllium) may reduce absorption of the heart medicine Lanoxin (digoxin).

The anti-seizure medicines you mention are best taken with food to maximize effectiveness. Avoid grapefruit, however, as it can raise blood levels of Tegretol (carbamazepine) and increase the risk of side effects.

We are sending you our Guides to Food, Drug and Grapefruit Interactions for more information about these issues.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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