grapefruit and drugs

The NY Times posted an article on the interaction between drugs and grapefruit. There are now 85 drugs on the market whose potency is dramatically increased if taken with grapefruit, including common cholesterol-lowering drugs, new anti-cancer agents, and some synthetic opiates and psychiatric drugs, as well as certain immunosuppressant medications taken by organ transplant patients, some AIDS medications, and some birth control pills and estrogen treatments.

There is a link to the complete list in the article.

However, just an anecdotal addendum - my goddess mother has been eating fresh grapefruit every morning for 6 or 7 decades. She's 90 years old, still works fulltime, does all her own shopping/cooking/cleaning, has an amazing memory about just about everything ever, and has more energy than a person a third her age. So this information is provided just for awareness' sake.

(Oh, and she has a scotch and bubbly water cocktail or two every single night. Maybe it's the combination of grapefruit and scotch that does the trick.)

kathy Big Grin
 
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There is a warning on my Entocort prescription label not to eat grapefruit with that medication, and I have given up grapefruit since going on Entocort (aka Budesonide).
 
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I know that there have been warnings about grapefruit/drug reactions for quite awhile. What I thought was interesting about this article was that it lists the drugs, predicted interaction risk rank, and what the adverse reaction might be. For instance, who would ever think that taking a cardiovascular medication with grapefruit could cause gangrene?

When I was young, there was a warning 'out there' that cranberries caused cancer. That was the entire statement. My cousin, who was/is a medical researcher said that that was true. Shock! But one would have to eat a boxcar load of cranberries every day to get cancer. She said that a boxcar load of just about anything could 'cause' cancer. That's something that's always stuck in some part of my brain - that there are extenuating circumstances and we should be aware of the risks and then make choices.

There are a couple of my drugs on the list and it's great to know what to look for. I eat grapefruit occasionally and probably won't stop because it's so infrequent. But then again, I'd have only me to blame if I 'got' gangrene.

kathy Big Grin
 
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Kathy,

Thanks for the article. There is an automatic verification here whenever we pick up our scripts...my anticonvulsive is on that list...apparently grapefruit makes it More effective and not less...a lot of drugs' reactions are increased with the consumption of grapefruit and not the contrary as I had expected...they are also talking about all citrus fruits now...orange, tangerine, lemon etc...so juice & coffee plus your meds might just become a thing of the past...
Sharon
 
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Most commonly grapefruit changes the blood levels of the interacting drug, and only if they're taken more or less together. So you don't have to swear off grapefruit, just not eat it at the same time as the interacting medicine. The same applies to dairy products and Cipro.

I'd caution against using the term "more effective" to describe an increased blood level. It's more like an overdose.
 
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Scott,

I pretty much understood that to be the case, but I am under orders to take my Entocort in the morning, and the only time I would be eating grapefruit in the 1st place would be in the morning at breakfast. To be honest, it is not that big a deal for me to give up grapefruit because it is not really my favorite fruit anyway.
 
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For me, grapefruit was a take it or leave it fruit until I was not allowed to eat it because of the statin I was taking for cholesterol control. Then, grapefruit became an obsession! I could taste it in my sleep.....almost! Finally, I broke down and had grapefruit three days in a row. That was months ago. And so far.....I haven't had the craving!
 
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As Scott said, as long as you do not take them simultaneously then there is no problem...I used to eat a grapefruit every morning (sometimes 2) but I was told not to because I take my meds then so I eat them a 4pm for snack...ditto for evenings...I take the anticonvulsives 2xs day...by the way the expression 'more effective' is the direct translation from the French...'Plus Efficace'...my doctor also told me that I shouldn't worry too much because the effect was not dangerous in my case and that I should adjust the dose accordingly if I insisted on eating them...(lower the dosage)...but there is now a T.V. campaigne to eat your grapefruits in the evenings...keep the info coming...
Sharon
 
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Unfortunately, it actually is not true that this interaction only occurs when the juice is consumed at the same time as the drug. The effect of blocking the enzyme can last for more than a day. But, the effect is not the same universally, so itdepends on the drug, the dose, and the amount of grapefruit consumed. So, something to be worked out with your pharmacist or doctor. If you have grapefruit daily, perhaps you can get by with a lower dose.

http://www.medicinenet.com/scr...asp?articlekey=14760

Jan Smiler
 
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Grapefruit? Blech! Wink
 
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I stand corrected. Thanks for catching that, Jan.
 
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