Thursday, January 18, 2007

Love my grapefruit!

Grapefruits are on sale in all the grocery stores around here right now, and I've been filling my face with these delectable fruits! I love grapefruit! So juicy and thirst quenching! While eating a couple nice succulent grapefruits after dinner tonight, I was thinking of my poor mother-in-law, who loves grapefruit as well, but her doctor told her she can't have them, or drink any grapefruit juice either. She's taking Lipitor for her cholesterol, and only ever knew that she couldn't have grapefruit because of that. Numerous times she's meant to ask her doctor what the reasoning is for this, but she always forgets to ask.

So I've just been searching around for the answer to this question, and to see if there are any alternative medicines that she can ask her doctor about, with the hopes of being able to savour the taste of a sweet and tangy grapefruit again. I came across a pretty
informative article at CBS news. It's from January 2005, but I managed to get my answer. Apparently, grapefruit or grapefruit juice, when mixed with Lipitor slows activity of the liver enzyme that metabolizes the drug, which can result in rhabdomyolysis, a severe muscle reaction that can cause death. Okay, so definitely no grapefruits for my mother-in-law while she's taking Lipitor!

The article also gives a list of several other types of drugs that have interaction problems with grapefruits. I was relieved to see that none of my prescribed drugs were in that list. Now according to one patient's story within this same article, there is another cholesterol-lowering drug called Pravachol, and apparently it doesn't interact with grapefruit juice, so I will definitely be giving my mother-in-law this information to discuss with her doctor. That is if she remembers to do so! :-)

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