29-Nov-12 7:00 AM  CST

Grapefruit Juice and Medication Interactions List Grows

Grapefruit juice has always been a source of concern when it comes to taking medication and the possibility of adverse drug interactions. Grapefruit juice can be dangerous and even deadly if combined with certain medications. The Canadian Medical Association previously announced that 43 medications are now on a list of drugs in which grapefruit juice should be avoided. 
 
Here’s the problem with grapefruit and certain medications. Grapefruits and grapefruit juice contain furanocoumarins that interfere with how the body breaks down certain drugs before entering a person’s bloodstream.  In addition, they prevent the normal breakdown of a drug.  The chemicals in grapefruit can cause a drug overdose, serious side effects, and possibly death. The potential side effects that can occur are: kidney failure, muscle breakdown, heart rhythm problems, blood clots, and trouble breathing. 
 
Pharmacy technicians should note that an auxiliary label should be placed on medications that must not be taken with grapefruit juice.  Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can also remind patients of the warning label during patient consultations at the time of medication pick up from the pharmacy. 
 
For a full list of the medications in question technicians can go to the ABC News web site by clicking here:  http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/11/26/grapefruit-medicine-interaction-warning-expanded/
 
 
Sources: 
1.  ABC News Reports.  “Grapefruit, Medicine Interaction Warning Expanded.”  ABC News.  Web.  26 Nov 2012.   
 
2.  Yahoo News Reports.  “Grapefruit and Medications May Be A Deadly Mix.”  Yahoo News.  Web.  28 Nov 2012.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
 
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
 
Source: NPTAnews  
http://www.pharmacytechnician.org

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