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Dangerous Fruit: Grapefruit and Medicine

by Jasper van Capelle in Health & Body , 11 juni 2004


Eating fruit or drinking fruit juice seems to be healthy, though with grapefruit you have to be very careful. Grapefruit contains a substance which can react quite strong on your medicine or other devices, sometimes with lethal effects. Grapefruit is not only found in grapefruit juice, but also in other drinks and some diet pills. That’s why a lot of people don’t know they’re engulfing grapefruit!

You can receive grapefruit without knowing it, by a sports drink for example. If you’re used to buy a little bottle of AA-drink at Albert Heijn, and you find out that somewhere else you can buy six big bleu bottles for the price of one AA-drink, the choice is easily made.

This sport drink will give you a lot of energy, it tastes good and it almost costs nothing. You might be tempted to drink more of these bottles a day, especially when you presume it’s supposed to be healthy. In the gyms you’ll see more and more people who have discovered this bottles. In small print there’s written on the bottle that it contains grapefruit, but none of the interviewed sportsmen were aware of it.
You don’t have to be on medicine to become ill with grapefruit.

More than two glasses of grapefruit juice a day can already cause problems. A combination of caffein and grapefruit is not advisable. It can cause neurotic reactions. Grapefruit fortifies the effect and side effects from psychiatric drugs (sleeping pills, tranquillisers, antidepressants), calcium blockers (hypertension drugs), anti-allergic drugs (e.g. hay-fever) and immuno-suppressiva (for auto-immune diseases).



With Viagra (Sildenafil) it reduces and slows down the effect; your partner won’t be impressed when you’re full of energy because of your sports drink, but still have to wait for three hours before you can get into action!

Fortunately every medicine has an information leaflet that will warn you for any possible dangers.

Unfortunately some manufacturers sometimes forget to add some things on their leaflet.

It took until the end of 2002 and only after some complains, before the producer of Xanax, an antidepressant, added a warning for grapefruit on the leaflet.

In the same year there was a scientific research among forty-eight healthy men in Cologne, which proved Viagra and grapefruit don’t mix that well. In this year’s Dutch leaflet of Pfizer, producer of Viagra, I can’t read this! It does say not to use it with poppers. It seems to me, but I may be naive, there are more people drinking grapefruit juice compared to people who sniff poppers.

Grapefruit juice on its own is healthy, but the danger lies in a mix with other substances. However, there are some medicines, like some HIV drugs, where a combination is recommended.



 






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