Friday, February 3, 2006

The wheel is spinning, but the mouse is dead

As many know, I toiled away on my MSc. in a vascular biology lab at a heart research institute for several years. Nevertheless I failed to set the alarm bells ringing in my head when the lactation consultant suggested I take grapfruit seed extract pills on top of my doses of nifedipine. I suppose I was so desperate for pain relief that I left my brain behind.
Mixing grapefruit stuff (sections, juice, extracts) with heart meds is BAD. To put it simply: they compete for an enzyme, and the grapefruit is victorious. So what? So... blood levels of the drug end up being higher than they should be. Now, add on a synergistic drug treatment that has a loading dose four times the size of the regular dose (precious fluconazole!). Is that why I am suddenly so tired? Hard to be sure with so many other contributing factors (baby night feedings!).
All I know is that I am booting the grapefruit seed extract treatment. Thats not to say that it isn't useful - there is some interesting research out there to be sure - but it's overkill now and potentially dangerous. Also, I just noticed that the brand we bought has ecchinicea added, which is known to interfere with birth control pills (mind you, so are some antibiotics). I have also shelved the gentian violet.

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