August 29, 1996 in Nation/World

Grapefruit Juice Boosts Effectiveness Of Drugs

Associated Press

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but a glass of grapefruit juice will often boost its effectiveness, researchers said.

To their surprise, researchers have found that a number of drugs are absorbed into the body more easily when taken with grapefruit juice.

Drug developers are racing to understand the effect so they can use it to make their medicines more effective.

“It hasn’t demonstrated any therapeutic potential yet, but it’s very promising,” said Barbara Ameer, a pharmacology consultant who plans to present her grapefruit juice findings today at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando, Fla..

Patients who take calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure can triple their blood levels of the drug by taking their pills with grapefruit juice, Ameer said.

Other drugs react similarly, including the antihistamine terfenidine, known commercially as Seldane, and the sleeping pill Halcion.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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