Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fruit juice bad for medication?

I learned something new today. It seems that some fruit juices can seriously disrupt the actions of many common medications, so much so as to render them ineffective.

Drinking fruit juice dramatically reduces the effectiveness of drugs used to treat cancer, heart conditions and high blood pressure, scientists say.

Research has shown that orange, apple and grapefruit juice can also wipe out the benefits of some antibiotics and hay-fever pills.

It is thought the drinks stop drugs from entering the bloodstream and getting to work in the body - possibly rendering them useless.

The potential effects are so serious, researchers warned, that if in doubt, patients should swap fruit juices for water when on medication.

. . .

Drugs shown to be weakened by grapefruit, orange and apple juices include the blood pressure-lowering beta blockers atenolol, celiprolol, and talinolol and the hay-fever treatment fexofenadine.

The multi-purpose antibiotic ciprofloxacin, used to combat germs behind food poisoning and bone and joint infections, is also affected.

So is the cancer drug etoposide and a drug given to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs.

Many other drugs are also likely to be affected, an American Chemical Society conference heard yesterday.

The study showed juices do not need to be taken at the same time as drugs to have a dangerous effect.

Those drunk up to two hours before can reduce drug absorption.

Interesting - and a bit scary! I've been put on ciproflaxin for infections before, and it didn't work very well: but I recall that I was drinking plenty of fruit juice at the time, on my doctor's advice, because he reckoned it was good for me! Reading this article, I'm wondering whether the relatively poor performance of the ciproflaxin was actually caused by the fruit juice.

I'll have to read up about this. Food (or drink!) for thought.



Evil Transport Lady said...

I know grapefruit juice is a bad one for meds. But thanks for the idea, I need to check more into this.

Anonymous said...

I stopped drinking Five Alive, which had grapefruit in it, because of an interaction warning with my HBP med. Didn't know that orange juice could do the same thing, will consult my MD; thanks for the tip.

St Paul

Home on the Range said...

sending you a reply viz email as I couldn't figure out how to add the picture on to the comment. .