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Does Pomegranate Juice Interfere With Prescription Drugs?

by
author image Jeffrey Traister
Jeffrey Traister is a writer and filmmaker. For more than 25 years, he has covered nutrition and medicine for health-care companies and publishers, also producing digital video for websites, DVDs and commercials. Trained in digital filmmaking at The New School, Traister also holds a Master of Science in human nutrition and medicine from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Does Pomegranate Juice Interfere With Prescription Drugs?
Pomegranate juice may interfere with certain prescription drugs. Photo Credit mamadela/iStock/Getty Images

Pomegranate juice contains substances that may interfere with prescription drugs when combined with some medications that treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart rhythm abnormalities and depression. The fruit juice also interferes with anticonvulsants and anticoagulants, drugs that treat and prevent seizures and blood clots, respectively. Pomegranate juice is highly concentrated with antioxidants that have health promoting properties. Consult your physician or pharmacist about drinking pomegranate juice with medications you take.

Blood Pressure Medication

Nearly 400,000 deaths each year are attributable to high blood pressure, according to research by scientists at Harvard School of Public Health and published in the "Public Library of Science Medicine” in 2009. Reducing your sodium intake from foods may help to lower your blood pressure. Drinking pomegranate juice may also lower your blood pressure, yet may be dangerous if you combine it with blood pressure medication. This can lower your blood pressure even further and cause dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue and fainting. Blood pressure medications include beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, alpha blockers and rennin inhibitors.

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Statins

Dietary cholesterol and saturated fat cause plaque to develop in the arteries and increase the risk for coronary artery disease. Powerful antioxidants called polyphenols in pomegranate juice can reduce the development of plaque by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol and progression of coronary artery disease. Taking cholesterol lowering medication, particularly statins, may reduce your blood cholesterol levels. When taken together, pomegranate juice may interfere with statins, primarily because the fruit juice contains substances that may inhibit liver enzymes that could cause statin medications to accumulate in your body and increase the risks of serious side effects, including toxicity. Research by scientists at the Division of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and published in the "American Journal of Cardiology" in 2006 discovered that pomegranate juice combined with rosuvastatin, a medication that treats high cholesterol, may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis, a condition that breaks down muscle breakdown and can cause kidney failure.

Anticonvulsants

Pomegranate juice may interfere with anticonvulsants, medications, such as carbamazepine, that treat and prevent seizures. Research by scientists at Miyazaki Medical College Hospital in Japan and published in "Drug Metabolism and Disposition: The Biological Fate of Chemicals" in 2005 discovered that pomegranate juice combined with carbamazepine impairs the function of genetic substances in the liver. The research found that inhibition potency of pomegranate juice is similar to grapefruit juice.

Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants, such as warfarin, are drugs that treat and prevent blood clots. Pomegranate juice inhibits P450 enzymes involved with warfarin metabolism, according to research by scientists at Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust in London, England and published in "Emergency Medical Journal" in 2010. Research by scientists at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and published in "Pharmacotherapy" in 2009 reported a case of a patient who had sub-therapeutic response to warfarin while consuming pomegranate juice.

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