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Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 06/24/2014

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Food and Drug Interactions



Some foods do not mix safely with certain drugs.

Cancer patients may be treated with a number of drugs. Taking certain foods and drugs together may decrease or change how well the drugs work or cause life-threatening side effects. The following table lists some of the food and drug interactions that may occur with certain anticancer drugs:

Drug-Food Interactions
Brand Name Generic Name Food Interactions 
Targretin Bexarotene Grapefruit juice may increase the drug's effects.
FolexMethotrexate Alcohol may cause liver damage.
Rheumatrex
Mithracin Plicamycin Supplements of calcium and vitamin D may decrease the drug's effect.
Matulane Procarbazine Alcohol may cause headache, trouble breathing, flushed skin, nausea, or vomiting, Caffeine may raise blood pressure.
Temodar Temozolomide Food may slow or decrease the drug's effect.

Talk with your doctor about possible food and drug interactions.

Some herbal supplements do not mix safely with certain drugs or foods.

Taking some herbal supplements with certain foods and drugs may change how well cancer treatment works or cause life-threatening side effects. Talk with your doctor about how herbal supplements may affect your cancer treatment.