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    Food, Juice, and Drugs: Hold the Grapefruit

    Do your patients know about the interactions between common foods and drugs?


    Many drugs are known to have interactions with foods and beverages. But are patients educated well enough about these interactions, especially about one of the most common ones--the interaction between grapefruit juice and many drugs?

    “You can slap incredibly large auxiliary labels or have it typed on the labels, but I don’t think it is good enough.” said Steve Plogsted, PharmD, BCNSP, CNSC, Clinical Pharmacist with the Nutrition Support Service at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH. “They have all those patient inserts and patient folders, and the information is in there. But is anyone going to take the time to read it all?” he asked.

    A warning label on the prescription vial may be enough for some patients, but not for everyone, said Tana N. Kaefer, PharmD, Clinical Coordinator with Bremo Pharmacies in Richmond, VA. Some patients will do fine, but those who have low health literacy will need more explanation and education about food or juice interactions, she said.

    Related article: Faulty Drug Interaction Overrides: We Have to Do Better

    Some commercials aimed at consumers now give a warning about an interaction with grapefruit juice, but even that information may not be enough, said Plogsted. Those warnings are “the fast talking at the end of the commercial” to which people have become immune, he said.

    Up next: What you can do to educate yourself and your patients

    Valerie DeBenedette
    Valerie DeBenedette is a medical news writer in Putnam County, N.Y.

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    • Anonymous
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