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Foods to Avoid When Taking Linezolid

By Stephanie Crumley Hill

Linezolid is a powerful antibiotic that can sometimes cause an elevation in blood pressure. Because of this, it is important that you avoid foods that contain tyramine; foods containing tyramine can also elevate your blood pressure, leading to a potentially serious reaction. When your doctor prescribes linezolid (Zyvox), she should give you a list of foods to avoid. People who have migraine headaches or take certain blood pressure medications called MAO inhibitors have similar dietary restrictions; fortunately, the Micromedex drug database contains extensive information about foods containing tyramine. Contact your doctor if you have questions about any foods.

Protein

When protein begins to break down, tyramine is formed, according to the Micromedex database. Avoid any meat which is aged or not perfectly fresh. Avoid meat products that have been smoked, dried, marinated or fermented. Avoid liver, pate and game meats, which tend to be mishandled. Avoid dry sausages, salami, bacon, pepperoni, luncheon meats, frankfurters, liverwurst, ham, pickled herring, lox, smoked salmon, shrimp paste, salt cod and smoked oysters. Avoid protein extracts and protein supplements including protein shakes and protein bars.

Vegetables and Fruits

Avoid brined and pickled vegetables and fruits including pickles, kimchee, sauerkraut and olives. Avoid overripe bananas and any dish cooked with banana with the peels still on. Avoid fava beans, Chinese pea pods and Italian beans. Avoid bean pastes, Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, soy bean paste, tofu, fermented bean curd, fermented soy beans and miso soup. Ginseng is usually fermented or pickled and should be avoided. Ask your doctor about avocados, raspberries and spinach; in some instances these foods have caused reactions.

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Yeasts and Fermenting Agents

Avoid yeast and all yeast products including brewer's yeast. Avoid homemade breads made with yeast including sourdough. Avoid prepared foods which contain yeast or yeast extracts including canned and frozen foods; read product labels carefully. Avoid seasonings and condiments that contain yeast extracts and protein including soup mixes, soup base mixes, bouillon cubes and powders, meat tenderizers, dry soups, canned soups and mixes for making sauces, gravy and stews. Avoid vitamin supplements containing yeast. Avoid marmite.

Dairy

Avoid all aged cheeses. Fresh cheeses, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta, are usually free of tyramine if they are fresh, have been kept properly chilled and are not near their expiration date. Avoid kefir, a fermented dairy beverage. Ask your doctor about buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream; some physicians may allow them in limited amounts.

Beverages

Avoid all alcoholic, non-alcoholic and fermented beverages including beer, wine, mead, hard liquors and liqueurs. Avoid foods made with beer and wine including beer battered fish, bread made with beer and fondue. Ask your doctor about beverages containing caffeine; he may advise restricting intake or eliminating them all together.

Nuts

Larger servings of peanuts, brazil nuts and coconut may cause hypertension and headache according to the Micromedex database, but these foods have not been specifically studied in patients taking linezolid. Ask your doctor for his guidance on eating nuts while you are taking linezolid.

Other

Chocolate is usually safe in small servings, but according to the Micromedex database, large amounts can contain tyramine. Because there are no studies specifically regarding chocolate and linezolid, ask your doctor for her guidance on consuming chocolate while you are taking linezolid.

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