People's Pharmacy

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

March 03, 2006

Is there any adverse interaction between Lipitor and pomegranate juice? I know there is a problem with grapefruit juice and Lipitor and wondered whether there could be a similar problem with other tart juices.

I have been reading that pomegranate juice is very beneficial, but I take Lipitor, so I thought I should check first.

Grapefruit affects drug metabolism and leads to higher levels of many medicines, including Lipitor. As a result, Lipitor may be more likely to cause side effects.

A study in Japan found that pomegranate juice was comparable to grapefruit juice in this activity (Drug Metabolism and Disposition, May 2005). Not all tart juices do this, but you would be wise to skip pomegranate juice. Although it can lower blood pressure and help keep plaque from building up in arteries, it might not be safe with Lipitor.

I'm 47 years old and play basketball. My calves seem to cramp almost every time I play. I stretch them for about 20 minutes beforehand, but it doesn't help.

Would this be because of a lack of calcium or potassium? Help. I'm sick of hopping around after I play.

Muscle cramps can be caused by all sorts of things. Lack of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium may be responsible. In such cases, replenishing the minerals may prevent the cramps.

A former football player with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers told us that the best home remedy is a jigger of pickle juice. He also found a glass of tonic water with quinine helpful.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site: PeoplesPharmacy.com.

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