Warning: Avoid Citrus Products with Penicillin

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This is a tip that my daughter and I learned the hard way. Most doctors won't tell you that penicillin and citrus don't go together. The citrus (OJ or any other citrus) will negate all the benefits of penicillin.

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My daughter's ear infections kept getting worse and coming back. They got so bad, she was starting to lose her hearing. I kept giving her orange juice figuring the vitamin C would help. The doctors never said a word. Then one day I saw a tip on TV about how citrus of any kind will cause penicillin to not work at all. I took all the citrus things away. Within 2 days, the symptoms were improving. Within a week it was gone. And she never again got a serious ear infection.

By the way, back in the 1970s, during the commercials between soap operas on one network, they used to have a short one or two minute segment called "FYI" (For Your Information). This is where I learned about this. It was just lucky this particular FYI came on right as she was suffering with a bad ear infection and had had it for over 2 months. I really wish they'd bring those segments back! I'd even go back to watching soaps just to see these segments!

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Another by the way, I asked the doctor about this at the time, and he said "Oh yes, don't give her any citrus any time she's on any form of penicillin" (she was on Ampicillin) or any other drug that ends with "cillin". I blew up and wanted to know why he hadn't told me that months ago! He just shrugged and said "I thought it was common sense and you'd know"! You can imagine it took everything I had to keep from knocking him on his "yoohoo".

By Cricket from NC

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for the tip Cricket! Now just to remember it! I think I would have walked out into the waiting room right then to take a poll of all the people sitting there...asking if they knew the citrus/"cillin" common sense.

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There is no way that thinking it was common sense would negate the doctor's responsibility of reminding all patients of anything that would affect their health or recovery. Think I might consider finding a new doctor who didn't make such assumptions.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

Unfortunately all doctors just don't "think"....it's almost arrogance on their part. Whether a parent would know or not, doesn't let them off the hook of explaining things thoroughly or have the nurse explain. Something like that just shouldn't happen!

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

It is a very good idea to ask your pharmacist about food and drug interactions. This is there area of expertise, and people do not utilize these health professionals nearly enough.

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Most will take the time to explain about medications to you -- even about things such as sensitivity and that type of thing.

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Anonymous
October 19, 20110 found this helpful

Add apple juice to the list too, Cricket, because store bought apple juice also contains citrus. Good tip!

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October 24, 20110 found this helpful

Who wouldn't think some orange juice couldn't hurt? Not I! Doctors assume we already know, nurses are so busy it's sometimes overlooked, what about prescription labels telling us this very important fact?

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October 26, 20110 found this helpful

Just goes to show what assuming gets you, that doctor just made an @$$ of himself, glad he didn't include you! BTW, when I got a new Rx this past month, I asked the pharmacist. She was both willing and able to answer my questions. I'll ask nurses too, they're more approachable, usually, than doctors.

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