Food Interactions

  • Why should I not consume some fruits, particularly citrus?

    Some citrus fruits, particularly Grapefruit, interact with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors by increasing the level of drug in your bloodstream.  This increase in blood serum level can lead to an inadvertent overdose of your therapy drug.  Consuming grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or grapefruit extract should be avoided while undergoing therapy for CML.

    Starfruit and Pomegranate are also known to interact with TKIs and should be avoided.

  • I have lactose intolerance. Do the TKIs contain ingredients that could cause issues?

    Nilotinib (Tasigna) contains Lactose (milk sugars) and should not be taken prior to discussing with your doctor.

  • Can I drink alcoholic beverages?

    Alcoholic beverages are enjoyed responsibly by many people around the world. Alcohol when ingested, does require body systems and organs to be functioning well. Alcohol affects virtually every organ in the body including the linings of the gastrointestinal system, the functioning of the liver, the kidneys and more.

    For individuals with CML, alcohol has generally been off limits. The effects of the disease along with certain toxicities associated with the treatment can be reasons to avoid all alcohol. When organs are processing medication and daily foods, the requirement to process alcohol may produce an unhealthy burden on your system. There are however, a number of individuals who have decided to continue with an occasional alcoholic beverage, and have appeared to tolerate it without evidence of a problem. The important thing to understand is the relationship between your body’s health while taking CML medications, and the effect alcohol would have on your health. 

    Most CML experts prefer that their patients avoid alcohol.