July 11, 2016

I Have Been Busy Answering Emails

I have lost track of the number of emails lately, but I do appreciate them as it tells me that people are reading some of my blog postings. Plus, I enjoy being able to help people. The emails covered a variety of topics and were mainly from the last two months. There were a few topics from 2012 and 2013.

My biggest concern is the response to this and this blog. Many have concerns about why they or a parent were not told about grapefruit causing toxic medication problems for statins and heart medications. One email author said he had been told not to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice, but his mother had not found out about it until his wife needed to take her to the hospital in serious condition one Saturday morning.

The next morning she asked for a glass of grapefruit juice and the nurse looked at the medications list and asked her if she wanted to stay in the hospital or possibly be sicker to the point of death. His mother said that grapefruit was a natural fruit and she wanted it. At that point her doctor and her son arrived and she complained about not being able to have grapefruit juice with her breakfast. Her doctor told her about the interaction with her statin, simvastatin, and that was why she was fortunate her daughter in-law had rushed her to the emergency room.

He explained the dangers and when she still insisted on the grapefruit juice, he said he would stop her statin and prescribe something else. He said she could not have grapefruit for two days because the statin needs to be out of her body before she had grapefruit or grapefruit juice. He then said he would bring something for her to read so that she could understand why she should not mix grapefruit with a statin.

When she insisted on the grapefruit juice, her doctor explained that if she had the grapefruit juice and still had the statin medication in her system, it could cause her death. She laughed and the doctor said this is why she should read the article he would bring her. He called the nurse station and had them find the article and bring it to her. When she still insisted, her son said even he had been told this by his doctor, and that was the reason he had stopped eating grapefruit.

Her son stated that even after she had read the article, she still insisted on having the grapefruit juice and when she could not, called for the nurse to dial the hospital administrator and she would give him instructions to bring her some grapefruit juice. When he would not, she told her son to get her out of the hospital even against doctor's orders.

The son stated that even when he refused, she tried to get her clothes and leave. It took her son and three nurses to restrain her. Two doctors arrived then and as she collapsed, they rushed her to the ICU unit and needed to operate shortly thereafter because she had a heart attack.

Now he is talking to the heart doctor about his mother's obsession with grapefruit juice. The doctor said that he would prescribe a medication that would not interact with the grapefruit juice.

He thanked me for writing the several blogs on this problem and polypharmacy and he may have missed this otherwise, when he was prescribed a statin and in that discussion, the doctor did make this known and was happy that he would follow the instructions. He said his mother's doctor was happy that she would not be able to drink grapefruit juice for several days and the statin should be out of her body by then.

This has become longer than I thought, but the author said he appreciated my alerting him and we have exchange several emails over the last week and he says his mother should be out of the hospital sometime Monday. He says his mother still insists on grapefruit juice, but now he does not need to worry and he or his wife will accompany her to any doctor appointments in the future. The doctor has also provided him with the current list of medications that can be adversely affected by grapefruit. He said it is almost four full pages in length.

He gave me permission to use the information.

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