Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Reasons To Avoid Grapefruit And Other Juices When Taking Certain Drugs

Date:
August 20, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists and consumers have known for years that grapefruit juice can increase the absorption of some drugs, causing potentially toxic effects. Now, researchers in Canada report new evidence that drinking grapefruit and other common fruit juices, including orange and apple, also can substantially decrease the absorption of some drugs, wiping out their potential beneficial effects. Their research will be presented in August at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia.

Drinking grapefruit juice with certain drugs could lower their effectiveness, researchers say.
Credit: The Florida Department of Citrus

Scientists and consumers have known for years that grapefruit juice can increase the absorption of certain drugs — with the potential for turning normal doses into toxic overdoses. Now, the researcher who first identified this interaction is reporting new evidence that grapefruit and other common fruit juices, including orange and apple, can do the opposite effect by substantially decreasing the absorption of other drugs, potentially wiping out their beneficial effects.

The study provides a new reason to avoid drinking grapefruit juice and these other juices when taking certain drugs, including some that are prescribed for fighting life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, cancer, organ-transplant rejection, and infection, the researcher says. These findings — representing the first controlled human studies of this type of drug-lowering interaction — were described today at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

"Recently, we discovered that grapefruit and these other fruit juices substantially decrease the oral absorption of certain drugs undergoing intestinal uptake transport," says study leader David G. Bailey, Ph.D., a professor of clinical pharmacology with the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. "The concern is loss of benefit of medications essential for the treatment of serious medical conditions."

Bailey and colleagues announced almost 20 years ago the unexpected finding that grapefruit juice can dramatically boost the body's levels of the high-blood-pressure drug felodipine, causing potentially dangerous effects from excessive drug concentrations in the blood. Since then, other researchers have identified nearly 50 medications that carry the risk of grapefruit-induced drug-overdose interactions. As a result of the so-called "Grapefruit Juice Effect," some prescription drugs now carry warning labels against taking grapefruit juice or fresh grapefruit during drug consumption.

In the most recent research, Bailey's group had healthy volunteers take fexofenadine, an antihistamine used to fight allergies. The volunteers consumed the drug with either a single glass of grapefruit juice, water containing only naringin (substance in grapefruit juice that gives the juice its bitter taste), or water. When fexofenadine was taken with grapefruit juice, only half of the drug was absorbed compared to taking the drug with water alone, Bailey says. Loosing half of the amount of drugs taken into the body can be critical for the performance certain drugs, he points out.

They also showed that the active ingredient of grapefruit juice, naringin, appears to block a key drug uptake transporter, called OATP1A2, involved in shuttling drugs from the small intestine to the bloodstream. Blocking this transporter reduces drug absorption and neutralizes their potential benefits, the researchers say. By contrast, drugs whose levels are boosted in the presence of grapefruit juice appear to block an important drug metabolizing enzyme, called CYP3A4, that normally breaks down drugs.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Bailey says. "I'm sure we'll find more and more drugs that are affected this way."

To date, grapefruit, orange and apple juices have been shown to lower the absorption of 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; and certain antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, itraconazole). But additional drugs are likely to be added to the list as physicians become more aware of this drug-lowering interaction, Bailey says.

Orange and apple juices also appear to contain naringin-like substances that inhibit OATP1A2, Bailey says. The chemical in oranges appears to be hesperidin, but the chemical in apples has not yet been identified, the researchers notes.

Bailey advises patients to consult with their doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications with grapefruit juice or other fruits and juices. Unless it is known to be a problem, he recommends taking most medications only with water. This research was funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the United States Public Health Service.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New Reasons To Avoid Grapefruit And Other Juices When Taking Certain Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819160050.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, August 20). New Reasons To Avoid Grapefruit And Other Juices When Taking Certain Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819160050.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Reasons To Avoid Grapefruit And Other Juices When Taking Certain Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819160050.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins