Fruit juice may affect blood pressure drugs

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Fruit juice may reduce the effects of some blood pressure medicines

New research suggests that taking medicines with fruit juice can reduce the effect they have on your body.

We have known for some time that calcium-channel blocker medicines can be affected by grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice increases the amount of this medicine that enters your bloodstream, which could be dangerous to your health.

This new research has shown that fruit juice can also reduce the amount of other medicines that enter your bloodstream. As well as grapefruit juice, orange and apple juice can also have this effect.

The research identified the beta-blocker medicines atenolol, celiprolol, and talinolol, all of which are used to treat high blood pressure. If less of the medicine enters your bloodstream, it will not be able to work as well as it should.

What this means for people taking blood pressure medicines is not clear. At the moment, only these three beta-blockers have been identified, but the researchers feel that other blood pressure medicines could also be affected.

The effects of fruit juice can last for anything up to two hours after drinking it. But if you leave enough time (around four hours) between drinking juice and taking your medicines, you may be able to avoid this effect. However, not enough is known at this stage to say anything for certain.

If you have any concerns about whether drinking fruit juice could affect your medicines, speak to your doctor or nurse, or your pharmacist. In the mean time, if you are worried, take your blood pressure medicines with a glass of water instead of juice.

Source: The Times website 20 August 2008; Taking your tablets with fruit juice limits the effect

Topics: Research, High Blood Pressure in the news, Medicines, Lifestyle, High blood pressure

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