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January 18, 2005

Beware of grapefruit juice with your medications

Topics: Clinical Pharmacology

The following article from Medical News Today is a non-technical advisory that is substantiated by several research articles, two of which are "Two major grapefruit components differ in time to onset of intestinal CYP3A4 inhibition" and "Bergamottin contribution to the grapefruit juice-felodipine interaction and disposition in humans". The pharmacokinetics and pharmacological aspects of the grapefruit interactions with medications is a little more involved than as presented here. It's not quite time to stop drinking your morning glass of grapefruit juice, but it's not wise to do so to wash down your medications. As is the case in most food-related problems, it's a matter of common sense and amount consumed. But in the case of grapefruit juice, you should also consider the timing of intake with your medications - especially with drugs for treating high cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure, cancer, pain, impotence, and allergies.

Medical News Today:
Grapefruit juice can be deadly for people on certain medications
, nurse researchers remind doctors, nurses, and everyone who takes medicine and enjoys grapefruit juice, in a paper in the American Journal of Nursing, a journal of the American Nurses Association.

(...)  Amy Karch, R.N., M.S., of the School of Nursing at the University of Rochester Medical Center reported on a man from a northern climate who moved to Florida for the winter - one of tens of thousands of "snowbirds" who head south each winter - and began drinking two to three glasses of grapefruit juice each day. Two months later the man died, the victim of a deadly interaction between grapefruit juice and his cholesterol-lowering medication

(...)  Karch, an expert on drug interactions, explains that grapefruit juice is one of the foods most likely to cause problems with drugs, because it is metabolized by the same enzyme in the liver that breaks down many drugs. The cytochrome P-450 3A4 enzyme breaks down grapefruit juice into useful components for body, just like it breaks down dozens of medications. Karch says when the system is overloaded, the grapefruit juice can "swamp" the system, keeping the liver busy and blocking it from breaking down drugs and other substances.

(...)  Drugs that use the same pathway and interact with grapefruit juice target some of the most common health problems doctors see today. The list consists of more than 50 medications, including some drugs used to treat high cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure, cancer, pain, impotence, and allergies.

Read more of the Medical News Today article...


Posted by Hyscience at January 18, 2005 11:51 AM

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