Doctors are often regarded as unquestioned experts when it comes to our health; we trust that they know what they are doing, and that they are abreast with the latest developments in their field. Since this is the norm, medical malpractice can be construed when a doctor fails to warn their patients about the food and drink they should avoid when they are on medication.
Common Precautions Prior to Prescription
It is common knowledge that prescription drugs taken in conjunction with substances like alcoholic beverages are usually a no-no. Doctors are also careful to take a patient’s medical history before prescribing medication to find out if anything they are already taking or an existing medical condition (i.e. pregnancy, allergies) contraindicates a particular drug. Throughout all of this screening, it is unlikely that a doctor will ever ask if the patient eats grapefruit, but they should.
Drug Interaction With Grapefruit
Recent studies have revealed that grapefruits and certain citrus fruits have a peculiar effect on some prescriptive drugs that can lead to serious medical complications in a patient. This is due to chemicals present in grapefruits – called furanocoumins – that inhibit the breakdown of roughly half the prescription drugs in the market today. This means that the body “stores” the drugs until such time as the inhibiting chemicals have passed through the system. When the small intestines finally do break down the prescription drug, the doses may already be at dangerously high levels.
Some of the more serious side effects of this grapefruit-drug interaction include:
- acute kidney failure
- intestinal bleeding
- muscle damage
- respiratory failure
- weakened immune system
If a doctor fails to warn a patient taking oxycodone, for example, not to eat grapefruit or drink grapfruit juice and the patient suffers serious side effects, then it is possible that a team of experienced New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Attorneys may be able to make a successful medical malpractice claim. Doctors should always be updated on current medical research. It will depend largely on whether the patient can prove negligence in this instance. If you or someone you know has suffered injury because the attending physician’s failure to warn about the dangers of grapefruit, consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.Read More