Drinking fruit juice may stop medication

Taking medicine with fruit juices can lower effectiveness

Drinking fruit juice with medication can lower the drugs effectiveness, say scientists.

Canadian researchers have discovered that grapefruit, orange and apple juice can all significantly reduce drugs taken to treat cancer, heart conditions and high blood pressure.

The influence drinking grapefruit juice has on medication is already known, but now it appears the latest research extends to other fruit juices too.

The results of tests showed that fruit juices can restrict the effects of several drugs, including three beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, the cancer drug etoposide and some antibiotics.

Volunteers took an antihistamine drug with either grapefruit juice, water containing naringin (the chemical that gives fruit its bitter taste) or plain water. When volunteers took the medicine with the fruit juice, just half as much of the drug was absorbed into the body as it was with water.

Scientists said patients did not need to stop drinking fruit juice altogether, however. Professor Bailey who led the research said: ‘Juice taken four hours prior to drug intake did not have an effect. Thus, it should be possible still to take grapefruit, orange and apple juices while on affected medications provided there is a sufficient time interval.

‘I would recommend taking drugs with water on an empty stomach to get the most consistent effect.’

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