Some Fruit Juices Decrease Drug Benefits

(Aug. 20) – Drinking certain types of fruit juice may negate the benefits of some drugs prescribed for serious medical conditions, according to study results announced this week.
Medications for heart disease, cancer and organ transplant rejection and infection could lose their impact if taken with grapefruit, apple or orange juices, the study found.
Grapefruit are loaded into a container before being trucked to a juice factory
David Silverman, Getty Images

If you like the juice made from grapefruit, you should be careful not to drink it when taking certain medications. A new study finds that grapefruit and certain other kinds of fruit juice can block absorption of drugs, rendering them less effective.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said David G. Bailey, a professor of clinical pharmacology with the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, who led the study presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. “I’m sure we’ll find more and more drugs that are affected this way.”
The culprit appears to be naringin, which gives grapefruit its sour taste and is also found in orange and apple juice, Bailey said. Naringin appears to block the process in which drugs move from the small intestine into the blood stream. That reduces a drug’s absorption — and its benefits.
Bailey conducted a study with healthy volunteers who took an antihistamine, fexofenadine, used to fight allergies. The participants took the medication with water, with water laced with naringin and with grapefruit juice. Those who drank juice absorbed half as much medication into their systems as those who took the drug with water.
Bailey said the three juices lowered the absorption of the following:
– Etoposide, an anticancer agent
– Certain beta blockers (atenolol, celiprolol, talinolol) used to treat high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks
– Cyclosporine, a drug taken to prevent rejection of transplanted organs
– Certain antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, itraconazole).
A study Bailey conducted with colleagues two decades ago found that grapefruit juice had the opposite effect on a certain drug — felodipine, a high-blood-pressure medication. Drinking the juice with the medication increased the absorption rate, threatening to create toxic levels of ingestion.
Since then, scientists have identified almost 50 drugs that can be dangerously enhanced by grapefruit juice. Some prescriptions now sport labels that warn against mixing the medicine and grapefruits or grapefruit juice.
To be safe, Bailey recommends taking most medications with water. He said patients should consult with their doctor or pharmacist before taking drugs with juice.
2008 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Posted on August 25, 2008 at 12:05 am by Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport · Permalink
In: General Topics, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply