Some medications advise being taken with food, generally either to prevent stomach irritation as is the case with NSAIDs, or to improve absorption, as is the case with numerous other medications.

How much does what you eat with medication impact absorption however?

This question was inspired by a search for a few of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US, namely lisinopril, amlodipine, metformin, and hydrochlorothiazide, which revealed wide ranges of bioavailability for each one, 6-60% in the case of lisinopril. Considering every doctor has said "take with food" at least once, but perhaps never "take with this food", it seems pertinent to ask what impact the choice of food has on bioavailability of common medications.

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    I think this is probably going to be specific to each drug, or at least each class of drugs, making it very difficult to answer. It's probably too broad.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jun 5 '19 at 22:42
  • I don’t have time to write an answer right now, but there are many outstanding reviews from 1977-present on this subject, e.g. Dietary Effects on Drug Metabolism and Transport. Harris, Jang, Tsunoda. Clin Pharmacokinet 2003, 42(13):1071-1088. Jun 6 '19 at 2:19
  • Can you first choose one drug or a group of similar drugs? Then we can discuss about exact foods. Dietary fat stimulates the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, dietary calcium can inhibit the absorption of iron, etc, so it really depends on the drug.
    – Jan
    Jun 6 '19 at 8:05
  • I agree with @Jan and Carey. Grapefruit can affect some medication and not others. Some need to be taken with food, and some don't, but where they are taken with food it can still help absorb the medication more quickly and some not. This is a very broad question which needs narrowing down. Do you wish to concentrate on just NSAIDs or another group of meds? Also what have you already read on the subject? We ask for prior research info. as it helps to provide an answer which will be more helpful. If you found nothing, what did you Google? Jun 7 '19 at 6:30