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Estrogen And Citrus

Q: Recently, I heard you comment on the radio about taking estrogen (Premarin) with citrus juice.  Please tell me the point of those comments. Thanks.


Dr. Donnica:
I'm not sure which radio interview you heard, so I can't comment specifically.  I have, however, mentioned several times that grapefruit juice specifically (not citrus juice in general) slows the body's normal breakdown of several drugs, including estrogen, which may allow it to build up to potentially excessive levels in the blood. A recent study indicates this effect can last for 3 days or more following the last glass of juice. While this information is not conclusive, many doctors believe that if you take any form of oral estrogen, the safest approach is to avoid grapefruit juice altogether.

I hope this clarifies what you heard.

Best regards,
Donnica Moore, MD
President, DrDonnica.com

A to Z Drug Facts [CD-ROM]. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons; 2000.

Takanaga H, Ohnishi A, Murakami H, et al. Relationship between time after intake of grapefruit juice and the effect on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nisoldipine in healthy subjects. Clin Pharmacol Ther 67: 201-214, 2000.

Created: 1/6/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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