Avoid Drinking Fruit Juice While Taking Medicine

Do not take fruit juice while taking medicine as it can decrease the drug’s effectiveness. A new study suggests that fruit juice can affect the body’s ability to absorb medicine which cause the therapy becomes less effective.

Researchers from Canada indicated that fruit juices, like grapefruit juice, orange juice, and apple juice, shown to interrupt the body’s ability in absorbing certain medications and reducing the effectiveness of therapy.

According to the study, fruit juice can reduce the effectiveness of drugs that used for treating cancer, heart disease, and other medical conditions.

“When it comes to medicine, you should consume it with appropriate doses. Low doses may not give the effect you want, while high doses may lead to the side effect,” says David Bailey, professor of clinical pharmacology from the University of Western Ontario who led the research.

“We found that certain substances contained in grapefruit and other fruit juices may decrease the oral absorption of certain drugs during the absorption and transportation process in the digestive tissue,” Bailey continued.

In the study, Bailey involved participants to take fexofenadine, a type of anti-histamine for treating allergies.

The participants were divided into two groups; one group consumed medicine with a glass of grapefruit juice and the other group was consumed medicine with plain water.

The results showed that participants who drank grapefruit juice absorbed only half of fexofenadine levels than those who drank plain water.

According to the researchers, grapefruit juice contains naringin, an ingredient that gives the grapefruit juice its bitter taste. This ingredient is suspected of blocking the “transporter” of drugs called OATP1A2 which carry the active ingredients of drugs from the small intestine to the blood vessels.

“This blockage reduces the drug absorption and neutralizes the potential benefits. On the other hand, an increase level of drugs due to the presence of grapefruit juice seem to block an important enzyme of a drug called CYP3A4 that usually works to break down the drug”, the researcher said.

In addition to grapefruit, the researchers found that apple juice and orange juice also showed a similar effect. “Both types of these juices indeed contain naringin”, the researchers added.

So far, among the drugs that are affected by the consumption of grapefruit, orange and apple juice are etoposide, a type of anti-cancer drug, beta blockers (atenolol, celiprolol, talinolol), and some types of antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, itracoazole).

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