Allegra and Fruit Juice: Good Mix or Bad?

Certain fruit juices affect the absorption of Allegra..

Allegra (fexofenadine), is a non-sedating antihistamine that has recently become available over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription. Since becoming available OTC, as well as being approved for young children, Allegra will likely become even more popular for people with allergy symptoms. For this reason, it is important for people to know that taking Allegra along with various fruit juices, especially orange and grapefruit juice, reduces the absorption of Allegra by more than one-third, therefore making the medicine less effective.

Allegra depends on specialized receptors on cells within the small intestines, called organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs), to absorb the medicine into the body. When various fruit juices are present in the small intestines, especially grapefruit, apple or orange juice, these OATPs are unable to absorb Allegra into the body. This effect seems to occur with soft drinks with as little as 5% fruit juice. Taking Allegra with fruit juice may decrease the absorption by nearly 40% or more, making the medicine far less effective against the treatment of allergy symptoms.

It is important for a person taking Allegra to avoid fresh fruit or fruit juices for an hour or 2 before or after taking Allegra. Otherwise, the effective of Allegra will be significantly reduced, and allergy symptoms will likely be left uncontrolled.

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