Grapefruit juice and antibiotics

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Grapefruit juice and antibiotics

Postby kudayta on August 18th, 2007, 6:01 pm 

Alright guys, I need a hand. My boss, a former body-builder, claims that grapefruit juice is beneficial to drink when taking antibiotics. This is because of some chemical in the juice that allows for a greater yield to be administered to the body from the pill. Now, from what I've found on google so far, this is basically true. And doctors warn against drinking grapefruit juice for most medications for this very reason, overdoses would be common and what not. The question is though, with respect to a bacterial infection that you're on antibiotics, is it wise to drink grapefruit juice?

I posted this in Myth Busters, because the claim just has one of those "bullshit" qualities about it, so I want a skeptical response if possible. If I'm in the wrong forum, by all means, move the topic.
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Postby Biologyguy on August 18th, 2007, 7:08 pm 

Grapefruit juice inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzymes, generally most concentrated in the liver, where the metabolism of many drugs occurs. By inhibiting these enzymes, it raises blood levels of the drug. Drug manufacturers do not take such things into consideration when formulating the amount of a drug in a single capsule or tablet which is based on a desired serum level from healthy individuals. No physician or pharmacist would ever recommend drinking grapefruit juice to mess with serum levels of a drug you were taking, that would simply be irresponsible because when levels go beyond just "therapeutic" levels you raise your risk of an adverse drug reaction. With antibiotics this could include anything from liver/kidney failure to anaphylaxis to Stevens-Johnson type reactions. Drugs are formulated to keep serum drug levels within a therapeutic range without going above that for the very reasons mentioned above. Antibiotics can be broken down into a couple of main classes, depending on their mode of killing. There is time dependent killing and concentration dependent killing. Concentration dependent (gentamycin is one) means that the higher the concentration the more it kills. Many of the concentration dependent drugs are toxic above certain levels, they can destroy your hearing or your kidneys or whatever. Many times these are formulated to get a certain serum level and then fall off to nothing before the next round (usually IV and only administered in a hospital setting). Time dependent killing means basically that there is a minimum concentration you should keep the levels above for an extended period of time (these will typically be your prescription outpatient medications). High concentrations of these drugs do nothing more for killing than the minimum levels, because these must simply remain above the minimum for certain extended periods of time. The manufacturers already formulate the meds you buy with this in mind, so following the recommendations for taking the drug is wise. Adding grapefruit juice is probably not.
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Re: Grapefruit juice and antibiotics

Postby aziah on February 7th, 2011, 11:18 pm 

kudayta wrote:Alright guys, I need a hand. My boss, a former body-builder, claims that grapefruit juice is beneficial to drink when taking antibiotics. This is because of some chemical in the juice that allows for a greater yield to be administered to the body from the pill. Now, from what I've found on google so far, this is basically true. And doctors warn against drinking grapefruit juice for most medications for this very reason, overdoses would be common and what not. The question is though, with respect to a bacterial infection that you're on antibiotics, is it wise to drink grapefruit juice?about it, so I want a skeptical response if possible. If I'm in the wrong forum, by all means, move the topic.

I posted this in Myth Busters, because the claim just has one of those "bullshit" qualities



drinking grapefruit juice while taking antibiotics is a big no. We, as a patient must be cautious enough with what we eat and drink specially when we are taking medicines. Antibiotics when mix up with grape juice can increase the blood level that may rarely cause shock.
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