Harvard Heart Letter

Avoid these with heart medications

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Interactions with common foods, beverages, vitamins, and supplements can change how your medicine works.

If you have heart disease or are at risk for it, you probably take two or more prescription drugs. It's in your best interest to make sure these drugs work as well as they should. That's why you need to know about foods, beverages, vitamins, dietary supplements, over-the-counter drugs, or other prescription medications that could interact with your medications. An interaction may cause the drug to become more powerful or less effective. If either happens to you, your heart disease could progress, or you might be at increased risk for a heart attack or fatal arrhythmia.

Although interactions don't always occur, there is no way to know who will experience a problem and who will not. "To be on the safe side, we counsel everyone to avoid products that may interact with their medication," says cardiologist Dr. Richard Lee, co-editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter.

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