Monday, April 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rock doc: Grapefruit + medications = potential problem

By
From page A4 | January 02, 2013 | 6 Comments

A breakfast of half a grapefruit and some peanut butter on a piece of toast sounds like it would be good for you, doesn’t it?

For millions of Americans who take prescription drugs, the answer may be no.

The difficulty arises because of certain effects in the compounds found in grapefruit and some other citrus fruits. When you eat them, they deactivate another chemical in the liver and small intestine that works to break down medication. The more such deactivation there is, the greater the effective dose of the medicine in your body because you aren’t breaking it down as you normally would.

“Taking one tablet with a glass of grapefruit juice is like taking five tablets with water,” said pharmacologist David Bailey when he spoke about the matter to the program NPR Shots.

And it seems the problem extends to more than just grapefruit. Seville oranges – which I love to eat at breakfast in tangy marmalade – may also act like grapefruit with respect to medications. So even something in your diet that seems as innocuous as toast and jam could be problematic.

If you are really dedicated to grapefruit consumption, your doctor may be able to substitute a new medication for one that’s problematic. But if you want to stay on your current meds, the wise decision may be to forego the grapefruit.

Lists on the web about what medications are problematic with grapefruit are evidently incomplete. You should therefore check with your doctor or pharmacist about your own medications. But here are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs that raise concerns with respect to grapefruit and certain other citrus products.

According to WebMD the drugs that can become problematic with respect to consuming grapefruit include:

Statins: Lipitor, Zocor and Mevacor

Impotence Drugs: Viagra

Psychiatric Drugs: Buspar, Valium, Zoloft

Pain Drugs: Methadone

Antihistimines: Ebastine

Anti-HIV medications: Invirase

Anti-arrhythmics: Cordarone

According to a Mayo Clinic Website other medications like this include:

Antihistamine: Allegra

Calcium channel blockers: Procardia, Nimotop and Sular

Anti-seizure medications: Tegretol

Immunosuppressants: Neoral, Sandimmune, Prograf and Rapamune

According to a recent NPR article other medications in this group include:

Cancer drugs: Tarceva

Antibiotic: Erythromycin

Blood thinner: Plavix, Brilinta

Anti-psychotic: Seroquel

But to repeat, it looks to me like all of the lists on the Web are incomplete. You need to investigate your own medications with your doctor or pharmacist. While you’re at it, confess to the authorities if you take herbal supplements or other similar substances. You might as well get them all checked out.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

E. Kirsten Peters

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

  • Tom JohnsonDecember 22, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Let me get this straight. If I take one viagra with grapefruit, it is equal to 5 viagras with water? Honey, pass the grapefruit, and brace yourself!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65January 03, 2013 - 10:17 am

    It is amazing the stuff my long ago departed grandmother used to tell me that end up being true. What did they know?, back then there were no signs in restrooms telling us to wash our hands. We are only a couple years shy of having instructions printed on toilet paper.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynJanuary 03, 2013 - 10:27 am

    Speaking of toilet paper: HERE (I almost linked this prior to Christmas, but fearing I'd lose my job of the Dem's local correspondent, I refrained!)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65January 03, 2013 - 1:11 pm

    Totally not right for him to lose his job over this. I can't think of a better use for that mug. If obama wants to wipe everyones backside for them we might as well make it a reality. It reminds me of an idea I had over a year ago. Obama's face on golf balls.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynJanuary 03, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    Pretty expensive at $5.99 a roll, but sometimes price just does not count. HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • merkabaJanuary 03, 2013 - 8:39 pm

    not listing benzo's? cimetidine also not mentioned wile also highlighting methadone and excluding other more common pain medications.. hydro/oxy codone... in fact the only real pain medication to exclude would be plain ol' codine because of the morphine conversion. But hey im not the doctor here.. dr. fragmented information md.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    CTE a pathway to higher wages, higher-demand jobs

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

     
    Heard over the back fence: Earth Day at the library

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

    Air quality rating up in the air

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

     
    GDPUD: Budget and GM are top topics

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

    Mountain lion seen in Placerville

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
    New top 10 fugitive could be in area

    By News Release | From Page: A3

     
    Community Action Council seeks new member

    By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

    Rattlesnake Avoidance Clinics May 3-4

    By Hangtown Kennel | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Opinion

    Belltower: El Niño or el nada?

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    The balancing act: Save the whales

    By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4

    Retain Joe Harn as auditor

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 10 Comments

     
    .

    Letters

    Tell the truth, don’t confuse voters

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Local petitions circulating

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

    Chess club

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    True Christian

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Sports Scene: April 20, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

     
    All Star team shows competive balance

    By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A6

    Australian rugby team visits Cameron park

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Roundup: Cougars drop finale

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

    Red hot Rico Abreu blazes to victory

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A6

     
    Schedule: April 21-26, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

    Rains to present at AMA conference

    By David Albee | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Prospecting

    As we were: Supervisors can’t decide

    By Ken Deibert | From Page: B2

     
    Spend time in River City

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Cantare Chorale seeks new director

    By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B3

     
    Help with healthcare decisions

    By Snowline Hospice Thrift Stores | From Page: B3

     
    Time to enter El Dorado County Fair

    By El Dorado County Fair | From Page: B3

    Volunteers needed for day of service

    By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Essentials

    DUI Log: Feb. 28-April 3

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    Lake levels 4-17-14

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

    .

    Obituaries

    Dianne Johnson

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Michael R. Sponsler

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Daniel Bish Sr. funeral notice

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    .

    Comics

    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Horoscope, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Horoscope, Monday, April 21, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    American Profile Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A8