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Boggio Family of Pharmacies

Boggios: A healthy choice for your whole life

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are an excellent source of many nutrients that contribute to a healthy diet. Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and the pink and red hues contain the beneficial antioxidant lycopene, thought to have a role in preventing various diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that grapefruit helps lower cholesterol, and there is evidence that the seeds have antioxidant properties.

However, there are compounds in grapefruit called furanocoumarins that can interfere with the way your body metabolizes certain medications. This can lead to dangerously high levels of medication in the body and may increase the risk of rare but serious or life-threatening side effects such as slowed heart rate and muscle deterioration. For a few medications, it can lead to decreased effectiveness because these medications need to be metabolized in order to become active. Don’t take these interactions lightly, as some can cause potentially dangerous health problems.

Both grapefruit juice (either fresh or frozen) and the fruit itself can affect certain medications and the effects have been seen with as little as one 8-ounce (250 mL) glass of grapefruit juice. The effects of grapefruit juice on medications can last up to 3 days, so taking them at different times of day will not help. Naturally sweet orange juice has not been shown to affect medications the way grapefruit juice does, but tangelos (which are related to grapefruit), lime juice, andSeville(sour) oranges may affect medications.

Many medications may be affected by grapefruit juice, including medications for:

Allergies Fexofenadine (Allegra)
Anticoagulation Dabigatran (Pradax)
Anxiety/Sleep Buspirone (BuSpar), Diazepam (Valium), Triazolam (Halcion), Alprazolam (Xanax), Clonazepam (Rivotril)
Arrhythmia Amiodarone (Cordarone)
Blood Pressure Amlodipine (Norvasc), Felodipine (Renedil, Plendil), Nifedipine (Adalat)
Cholesterol Simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Depression Sertraline (Zoloft)
HIV Saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase), indinavir (Crixivan)
Seizures/Epilepsy Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Mazepine), Clonazepam (Rivotril)
Sexual Dysfunction Sildenafil (Viagra), Taldafil (Cialis)
Transplants/Autoimmune Diseases Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf, Advagraf), sirolimus (Rapamune)

This is not a complete list; grapefruit juice may affect medications for conditions other than those listed here. Also, if you are taking any natural health products, check the labels to see if they contain grapefruit, tangelo, Seville orange, or lime juice. Avoid these fruits and juices until your doctor or pharmacist has told you it’s safe to have them.


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As temperatures begin to finally rise across southern Ontario after several weeks of gloomy weather, many Niagara residents are eager to bring out their summer wardrobe.

However, it doesn’t take long before we quickly remember that along with the summer heat comes the return of mosquitoes, spiders, and ticks. In Ontario, most residents are well informed about the illnesses mosquitoes can spread and ways of protecting yourself. But how informed are we about ticks?

There are many different species of ticks; however, the one that is of concern is the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick. This sesame seed sized tick can be the host to the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease, which, if untreated, can result in arthritis, heart problems, and various nervous system problems. The American brown dog tick is approximately half a centimeter and has not been shown to carry Lyme disease.

The Niagara region has a high concentration of ticks, especially in the areas surrounding Lake Erie. The Niagara Health Department recommends wearing pants and long sleeved shirts when walking in wooded areas to minimize the chances of a tick bite.

If you notice a tick has attached to your skin, it should be removed immediately by grabbing the head with a pair of tweezers and pulling straight up. Do not try to burn the tick off of the skin using a match or lighter. The area should be then be washed with soap and water. If you are unable to remove the entire tick, you should give your doctor a call and they can remove it for you.  The tick can be brought to the health department for analysis to see if it was infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Ticks often pick up the bacteria that cause Lyme disease while feeding on infected rodents. However, it should be noted that most ticks are not carriers.

The majority of people who are bitten by ticks do not develop Lyme disease, however if you notice a red bullseye rash on the skin, develop a fever, headache or muscle and joint pains, you should seek medical attention. The symptoms typically develop within 1 to 2 weeks of a bite. Lyme disease can often be cured with antibiotics if treatment is started early.

For more information about Lyme disease or information about ticks and where to drop them off, you can call 1-888-505-6074.

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