Before taking digoxin (Lanoxin®), make sure your healthcare provider has a complete list of any other prescription medications, nonprescription medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins you are taking. Combining certain substances with digoxin can change the way the body absorbs the medication. Grapefruit, for example, is a type of p-glycoprotein (Pgp) inhibitor and can cause a negative reaction with digoxin.
P-glycoprotein is a protein found in the body. It helps remove substances, such as medications, out of the body so they can be excreted through the urine or feces. Pgp helps remove digoxin from the body.
Pgp inhibitors, such as grapefruit juice, decrease the activity of Pgp. Taking digoxin with grapefruit causes digoxin to be removed from the body more slowly, potentially increasing the amount of digoxin in your body and increasing your risk for serious side effects. Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your digoxin levels if you take it with a Pgp inhibitor.
(For more information on the effects of taking digoxin with grapefruit, click Digoxin Drug Interactions. This full-length eMedTV article also describes other products that may cause negative drug interactions with digoxin.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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