Saturday, December 22, 2012

Grapefruit - with some medications can kill

NY Times  The patient didn’t overdose on medication. She overdosed on grapefruit juice.

The 42-year-old was barely responding when her husband brought her to the emergency room. Her heart rate was slowing, and her blood pressure was falling. Doctors had to insert a breathing tube, and then a pacemaker, to revive her.

They were mystified: The patient’s husband said she suffered from migraines and was taking a blood pressure drug called verapamil to help prevent the headaches. But blood tests showed she had an alarming amount of the drug in her system, five times the safe level.

Did she overdose? Was she trying to commit suicide? It was only after she recovered that doctors were able to piece the story together.

“The culprit was grapefruit juice,” said Dr. Unni Pillai, a nephrologist in St. Louis, Mo., who treated the woman several years ago and later published a case report. “She loved grapefruit juice, and she had such a bad migraine, with nausea and vomiting, that she could not tolerate anything else.” [...]


  1. Anecdotal confirmation: When I was a teenager, I used to work for a certain person a"h. This person had hypertension (high blood pressure), and he would always take his meds with grapefruit juice. Unfortunately, he was niftar at a relatively young age, several decades ago.

    Does this prove the research posted here? No. But knowing what we know today, it probably would not be a good idea to take meds with grapefruit juice.

    An alternative theory worthwhile exploring would be to see if grapefruit juice could be used to REDUCE medicine doses. The thinking is, if grapefruit juice is an effective accelerant which helps the medicine reach the blood stream at full force, then theoretically much less would be needed. This might be a crucial breakthrough, especially with cancer treatments, where the medicines themselves can carry toxic side effects...

  2. I am glad this was posted.It might save a life!

  3. NO medications should be taken with fruit juices. while the research is still ongoing many drugs have been shown to be less effective if taken with juices.

  4. elemir,

    Based on what I wrote above, there should be ongoing research to find out if grapefruit juice can INCREASE effectiveness of medications. This could prove to be a major breakthrough in helping patients reduce their dosages,along with reducing the toxic/non-toxic side effects associated with these medications.

    I definitely think that this is a worthwhile research project, though I don't think that the pharmaceutical industry will take kindly to research that can possibly show that there are ways to reduce medicine consumption. Remember, they're here to make $$$.


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