Posts Tagged ‘grapefruit’

Don’t Mix Viagra and Grapefruit

December 22, 2012

wwltv.com
Posted on December 19, 2012 at 9:31 PM
Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 9:46 PM
Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl
NEW ORLEANS — You may remember a few weeks ago, doctors expanded the list of the number of medications that can have serious interactions with grapefruit or its juice.
It went from 17 medications to 43.
And few people know the most popular pill for men should also be on that list.
It’s been called the most popular drug in the world, the little blue pill Viagra. And while most men know they should not take Viagra if they are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems, you may not know about this.
“Viagra, which is used for treating erectile dysfunction, when combined with grapefruit juice can reach toxic levels that result in men having hot flushes. It can also significantly lower their blood pressure and it can produce unwanted side effects,” explained Dr. Neil Baum, a urologist and men’s hormone expert at Touro.
Dr. Baum said a little as one grapefruit or an eight ounce glass of juice can cause a change in absorption for 24 hours.
“The grapefruit juice in the small intestine where pills are absorbed, prevents the breakdown of the medication. So when it’s absorbed, it’s absorbed in larger quantities and can reach toxic levels,” said Dr. Baum.
The reason Viagra should not be taken with a nitrate medicine is because it can cause a serious drop in blood pressure. For that reason, doctors say men who become dizzy, nauseated, or have pain, numbness or tingling in the chest, arm, neck, or jaw, should get medical attention right away. And taking Viagra in the same day as grapefruit can have a similar effect.
“It can drop a man’s blood pressure. It can cause a man to feel hot and warmed and flushed and so taking away the enjoyment that sexual intimacy is supposed to create. It can subtract from that and can make the man quite uncomfortable,” Dr. Baum added.
Some other fruits can also have the same effect. They are Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos, but sweet oranges do not cause this interaction.

Mix Grapefruit Juice With Your Cocktails Not With Your Medications

November 27, 2012

Grapefruit Juice- Careful How You Mix It With Your Medications

Grapefruit Juice- Careful How You Mix It With Your Medications


Grapefruit juice has many medicinal uses including acidify urine, provide vitamin C which can help prevent colds and flu-like symptoms, and has ingredients that may be beneficial in preventing cancer. However, the juice for all its benefits may have a deleterious interaction with many medications.

Research about the interaction of grapefruit juice with drugs suggests that compounds in grapefruit juice, called furanocoumarins (for example, bergamottin), may be responsible for the effects of grapefruit juice. Researchers believe that furanocoumarins block the enzymes in the intestines that normally break down many drugs. One glass of grapefruit juice could elicit the maximum blocking effect, and the effect may persist for longer than 24 hours. Since the effects can last for such a prolonged period of time, grapefruit juice does not have to be taken at the same time as the medication in order for the interaction to occur. Therefore, unlike similar interactions, where the interaction can be avoided by separating the administration of the two interacting agents by a couple of hours, administration of grapefruit juice with susceptible drugs should be separated by 24 or more hours to avoid the interaction. Since this is not practical for individuals who are taking a medication daily, they should not consume grapefruit juice when taking medications that are affected by grapefruit juice.

The grapefruit juice-drug interaction can lead to unpredictable and hazardous levels of certain important drugs. For example Viagra is of special interest to men. The clinical information is incomplete, but men who take Viagra should be aware that grapefruit juice might boost blood levels of the drug. That could be a good thing for some men with erectile dysfunction, but it could trigger headaches, flushing, or low blood pressure.

Bottom Line: Grapefruit juice can be of benefit to many people who drink it on a regular basis. However, the juice can impair the metabolism of many medications thus placing juice drinkers at risk for developing higher than normal blood levels of their medication. I suggest if you are a frequent grapefruit juice drinker, that you check with your doctor.

A Grapefruit May Be The New Apple-But Be Careful

July 24, 2011

For generations we have been encouraged to eat an apple-a-day in order to stay healthy and keep the doctor at bay. Today, the new apple may just be the grapefruit.
Let’s look at the benefits of grapefruit:

Appetite Loss: Grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger. This is the reason why people include grapefruit in their weight loss programs. High fiber contained by this fruit can satisfy hunger and thus may avoid any overeating temptation. Grapefruit juice, if combined with water, can quench the thirst.

Fatigue: Grapefruit is beneficial in the treatment of fatigue. It helps to dispel fatigue and general tiredness. It can bring about a refreshing feeling in you when you drink equal amount of grapefruit juice and lemon juice.

Acidity: The fresh grapefruit juice has alkaline reaction after digestion. The citric acid increases the effect of the alkalinity reaction after digestion. The juice extracted from the grapefruit is beneficial in preventing the acid formation and many other diseases that arise due to the presence of acidity in the body.

Indigestion: Grapefruit is useful for solving the problem of indigestion. It is very light as compared to other food articles and thus, acts immediately on indigestion by easing the heat and irritation caused in the stomach. It improves the flow of digestive juices, thereby improving the digestive systems.

Insomnia: A simple glass of grapefruit juice, if drunk before going to bed, can promote healthy and sweet sleep and thus, alleviates insomnia.

Constipation: A glass full of fresh squeezed grapefruit in the morning is the best remedy to control the constipation. Grapefruits are high in fiber and they result best in stimulating the colon and other parts of the body.

Urinary Disorders: Grapefruit juice is quite rich in potassium and vitamin C and thus, works as the best medicine in the case of recurrent urinary tract infections.

Lowers Cholesterol: The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consumption of grapefruit can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides.

Caveats on grapefruit
As with any medication, there are considerations about the use of grapefruit with medications. More than 50 prescription and over-the-counter drugs are affected by grapefruit juice, including some of the most commonly prescribed medications. This list includes a number of medications used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, pain, erectile dysfunction, and allergies.

Grapefruit contains a substance that inhibits the enzyme called CYP3A4. This powerful enzyme breaks down numerous medications such as the cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor. Patients who take Lipitor, or some antidepressant medication, and eat grapefruit, can have toxic levels of the medications because the grapefruit inhibits CYP34A.

So what are patients to do? Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to find out about your specific drug. All new medications are tested for drug interactions, including grapefruit juice, before they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When you order medications in the mail or pick them up at your local pharmacy, you should receive a patient information sheet, which will let you know if your drug is affected by grapefruit juice. Some pharmacies may also put a warning label on your medication bottle. If you are not sure, ask the pharmacist.

Bottom Line: Grapefruit juice may be helpful for many conditions and improve overall health. However, there are precautions about using grapefruit because of interactions with certain medications. If you have any questions, check with your doctor or your pharmacist.