Fruit and Medication: Death Results Rising

grapefruit-and-drugsThe number of medications with the potential to interact with grapefruit and  cause serious adverse health effects has jumped from 17 to 43 in the last four  years, warns a researcher.

The number of drugs when mixed with grapefruit that can lead to serious  health problems, including sudden death, has skyrocketed, warns a Canadian  researcher who first discovered the toxic link.

In an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, David Bailey, a  scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, said more  than 85 drugs, many of them highly prescribed for common medical conditions, are  known to interact with the pink fruit.

He first made the link 20 years ago.

But the number of medications with the potential to interact with grapefruit  and cause serious adverse health effects has jumped from 17 to 43 in the last  four years, as new drugs have been rolled out, Bailey said.

“How big a problem are such interactions? Unless health care professionals  are aware of the possibility that the adverse event they are seeing might have  an origin in the recent addition of grapefruit to the patient’s diet, it is very  unlikely that they will investigate it,” Bailey said.

Generally patients don’t say they eat grapefruit and doctors don’t ask, he  lamented in the article.

Grapefruit poses a risk when mixed with certain drugs because it inhibits an  enzyme that metabolizes ingested drugs, resulting in the drugs entering the  bloodstream at full force, which can lead to overdosing.

Some of the drugs known to interact with grapefruit include anti-cancer  agents, heart drugs, pain medications and drugs to treat schizophrenia. All of  them are administered orally.

It doesn’t take much grapefruit to have an effect. Drinking a single glass  of grapefruit juice with medication can lead to serious side effects, including  gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, breathing problems and sudden  death.

Other citrus fruits such as Seville oranges and limes can have similar  effects. But they have been studied less.

~ Thanks to NYC Daily News

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