With its lightly sweet aroma and tart flavor, pineapple is a nutritious snack packed with vitamin C. The aromatic fruit can be skewered onto a kabob or blended into a smoothie or grilled. But if you are taking certain medications, you need to be a bit careful about pineapple and drug interactions.
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Talk to your doctor about your diet if you are taking medications to avoid negative side effects.
Pineapple is a healthy snack, but components of this sweet food can interact with certain medications, including some antibiotics and blood thinners.
Read more: Pineapple Core Nutrition
Know the Properties of Pineapple
Fresh pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which is commonly used for medicinal purposes. PennState Hershey explains that the bromelain enzyme triggers the body to produce specific substances that fight inflammation.
The enzyme also contains specific chemicals that slow the growth of tumor cells. It has been used as a treatment for arthritis, muscle pain, inflammation, ulcerative colitis and swelling after injury.
Pineapple and Drug Interactions
Fresh pineapple should not be combined with Amoxicillin or tetracycline antibiotics — it can increase the side effects of these medications.
When fresh pineapple is combined with these types of medications, it can increase the amount of medication absorbed by the body, according to an article published in December 2012 by Biotechnology Research International.
Bromelain also affects the body's blood clotting abilities. When combined with medications that slow or prevent blood clotting — such as an anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs — it can significantly increase your risk of bruising or bleeding.
PennState Hershey also explains that the bromelain enzyme can increase the effects of sedative drugs, such as anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines and alcohol.
Identify Other Side Effects
Typically, eating fresh pineapple will not cause any adverse side effects; however, eating large quantities of the fruit might occasionally cause nausea, diarrhea, skin rash and vomiting. You might also notice swelling or tenderness of the mouth, cheeks and tongue. Also, it is important to note that unripe pineapple is extremely toxic; eating it can cause severe and excessive vomiting.
Individuals with pineapple allergy might also be sensitive to latex and pollen, as well as other fruits, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Follow These Precautions
Women who are pregnant should avoid eating large amounts of pineapple. Although further research is necessary to determine the exact correlation, it is thought that bromelain can stimulate contractions, potentially increasing the risk of miscarriage, according to an article published in January 2018 by International Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews.
Bromelain affects the blood's ability to clot or coagulate — avoid eating large amounts of pineapple in the two weeks prior to any type of surgery or invasive medical procedure.
Also, avoid bromelain if you are taking blood-thinning medications for high blood pressure. The combination of thin blood with bromelain's anticoagulant properties can lead to a bleeding disorder.
Additionally, large amounts of pineapple should be avoided by patients with liver or kidney disease, as many of the blood's clotting factors are produced by these organs.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Bromelain"
- Biotechnology Research International: "Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review"
- PennState Hershey: "Bromelain"
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Allergenic Foods and their Allergens"
- International Journal of Scientific Research and Reviews: "Forbidden Foods for Healthy Pregnancy"
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.