Drugs and grapefruit juice
Consider drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These are popular prescription oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. These drugs improve the ability to achieve an erection. They are not without side effects though. Taking nitrate-based drugs or alpha-blockers along with PDE5 inhibitors can be fatal. These drugs also interact with certain foods. This can cause changes in the effects. This could possibly cause damage to the patient. They can also worsen the side effects. Innocent food items can be the cause. Take grapefruit juice. Some think that it can reduce the risk of cancer and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis has been connected to some cases of sexual impotence. Lots of impotent men drink grapefruit juice for in conjunction with one of the PDE5 drugs. What they don’t realize is that the effects of the medication are limited by the juice. It may make the side effects more intense. Researchers believe this is because furanocoumarins in the juice block the enzymes that normally break down these drugs. This can last for up to 24 hours after taking. This was noticed by accident in a research study. Researchers were using grapefruit juice to mask the taste of alcohol. The study was to see how an oral calcium-channel blocker called Plendil (felodipine) reacts to alcohol. They were amazed to find that in the trial the effects and side effects were amplified by the juice. This was due to increased blood levels of felodipine. The culprit was the juice. It not only interacts with that specific drug but also with medications. Medications such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. It amplifies the blood levels of these PDE5 drugs into toxic levels. These levels can impair the normal function or cause damage to vital organs. The effects can be prolonged. For this reason doctors tell their patients to stop drinking it if they are using these medications daily. Be sure to ask your doctor for more information about drug interactions. That information may actually save your life.
A comprehensive breakdown of drug interactions - http://www.livestrong.com/grapefruit/