Why Viagra and grapefruit juice don't mix - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Why Viagra and grapefruit juice don't mix

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NEW ORLEANS -

It's been called the most popular drug in the world-- the little blue pill, Viagra. And while most men know they should not take Viagra if they are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems, many may not know about this.

"Viagra, which is used for treating erectile dysfunction, when combined with grapefruit juice can reach toxic levels that result in men having hot flushes. It can also significantly lower their blood pressure and it can produce unwanted side effects," said Dr. Neil Baum, a urologist.

Baum says as little as one grapefruit or an 8 oz. glass of juice can cause a change in absorption for 24 hours.

"The grapefruit juice in the small intestine where pills are absorbed prevents the breakdown of the medication, so when it's absorbed, it's absorbed in larger quantities and can reach toxic levels," Baum said.

The reason Viagra should not be taken with a nitrate medicine is because it can cause a serious drop in blood pressure. For that reason doctors say men who become dizzy, nauseated or have pain, numbness or tingling in the chest, arm, neck or jaw should get medical attention right away. And taking Viagra in the same day as grapefruit can have a similar effect.

"It can drop a man's blood pressure, it can cause a man to feel hot and warmed and flushed, and so taking away the enjoyment that sexual intimacy is supposed to create it can subtract from that and can make the man quite uncomfortable," Baum said.

Some other fruits can also have the same effect, like Seville oranges, limes and pomelos. But sweet oranges do not cause this interaction.

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