Navigating the holidays with a chronic condition
The holidays are for celebrating with friends, family and loved ones, which means eating (a lot of) wonderful food and spending quality time together.
However, if you have a chronic condition or take certain medicine every day, it’s important to stick to your health and wellness routine.
To help you stay on track with your care during the holiday season, we’ve provided some easy-to-follow tips.
Avoid food and drug interactions
The holidays are famous for all the food you tend to eat, but that can be tricky if you have a chronic condition. Here are some general tips to follow when eating a holiday meal while taking select prescription medicine.
- Be mindful of how much cranberry sauce or juice you have while taking Coumadin (warfarin), which could increase your risk of bleeding.1
- If you’re on antibiotic medicine like doxycycline, ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and tetracycline, watch how much dairy you have because it can make your medicine less effective.2
- If you take statins, calcium channel blockers or erectile dysfunction medicine, avoid food or drinks with grapefruits because it can increase the side effects of your medicine.3
- Limit the amount of salt in your food if you take blood pressure medicine. Too much salt at once causes water retention, a temporary rise in blood pressure and excess thirst.4
- Avoid taking any medicine with alcohol (wine or liquor). This is dangerous and may cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, changes in blood pressure or loss of balance.5
If you’re attending a holiday party, it may be a good idea to speak with the host ahead of time about your dietary needs. We also recommend learning more about general food and drug interactions to keep you safe year-round.
Make a list and check it twice
If you are traveling to celebrate a holiday, consider creating a list of items you’ll need to pack—especially your medicine. To ensure you have enough medicine while away, refill up to 5 of your prescriptions from our homepage, without signing in to your account.
If you’re not due for a refill but need your medicine to travel, please call us to see if you’re eligible for a vacation fill. And if you’re unsure of what you need, please call your healthcare provider to answer any questions you may have.
Always listen to your body
While the holidays are a cheerful time of year, you probably find yourself running around and out of your everyday routine. Living with a chronic condition and trying to fit everything in may lead to mental and physical stress. Make sure you listen to your body by getting enough rest, taking your medicine prescribed by your healthcare provider and drinking enough water.
Enjoy the holiday season
At Humana Pharmacy®, we believe celebrating the holidays shouldn’t be difficult for someone living with a chronic condition. We hope our tips make your holiday season a little easier so you can enjoy valued quality time with your family and friends. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!
1. “Warafin side effects: Watch for interactions,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed October 12, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/in-depth/warfarin-side-effects/art-20047592.
2. “Why Milk and Antibiotics Don’t Mix,” Everyday Health, last accessed October 12, 2021, https://www.everydayhealth.com/specialists/healthy-living/why-milk-and-antibiotics-dont-mix/.
3. “Grapefruit Warning: It Can Interact with Common Medications,” Healthline, last accessed October 12, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/grapefruit-and-medications#2831.
4. “What Happens If You Eat Too Much Salt?” Healthline, last accessed October 14, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-happens-if-you-eat-too-much-salt.
5. “Alcohol and Medication Interactions,” WebMD, last accessed October 12, 2021, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-interactions-with-medications.
Disclaimers: This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.