Many people enjoy the juice of the deep red pomegranate fruit both for its flavor and for its healthful properties. The pomegranate has been marketed as a new "superfood" because of its high antioxidant levels. Pomegranates contain even more antioxidants -- substances which help destroy disease-causing free radicals -- than green tea or red wine. You may already know that some juices, particularly grapefruit juice, can cause interactions with certain prescription drugs. Although the effect on pomegranate juice on medications is less potent than that of grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice still has the potential to cause an interaction. If your prescriptions include such medications as an anti-hypertensive, a statin, an ACE inhibitor or warfarin, check with your doctor before making pomegranate juice a regular part of your diet.
Pomegranate juice, similar to grapefruit juice can interfere with the enzymes responsible for metabolizing your medicns, and produce similar interactions. Prescription drugs potentially affected by these juices include medications to treat anxiety, arrhythmia, depression and seizures. Antihistamine, anti-retroviral, calcium channel blockers and immunosuppressants can also be affected by grapefruit and pomegranate juice. (See References 2)
Doctors prescribe ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors to help control a patient's high blood pressure and to treat congestive heart failure. These drugs can also help prevent kidney damage in diabetics. Because pomegranate juice has some of the same effects as an ACE inhibitor, drinking the juice could potentially amplify the effects of the drug. ACE inhibitors include benazepril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril and ramipril.
Statins, drugs used to control blood cholesterol levels, can potentially be affected by ingestion of pomegranate juice. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that anyone taking a statin drug, such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin or simvastatin, avoid drinking pomegranate juice until consulting a doctor.
Blood Pressure Medications
Pomegranate juice can potentially lower a person's blood pressure. If you are already being treated for hypertension, pomegranate juice could cause your blood pressure to drop below desired levels. Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting. If you take one of the many antihypertensive medications such as felodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nimodipine or nisoldipine, ask your doctor about the safety of adding pomegranate juice to your diet.
Warfarin is an anticoagulant drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger. Because this medication is broken down by the body, drinking pomegranate juice can increase the effect of the drug, or its side effects. Warfarin can induce serious symptoms including severe bleeding, so if you take this drug, avoid drinking pomegranate juice unless it is specifically approved by your physician.