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Pineapple Juice: Am I Making a Deal with the Devil?


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I have discovered that due to my extreme hypersensitivity that pineapple juice (fresh) helps with my digestion to a degree. It also eliminates anxiety, stress, fear, etc. The reason for this, or so I presume, is the presence of certain enzymes, referred to as bromelain, found in pineapple. This ingredients in the pineapple juice provide relief for a lot of my problems.


Here's the rub.


The reason that they do is that these compunds, bromelain, is known to have a multiplier effect on benzodiazepines such as valium and klonopin -- both of which I take.


Now, a normal person, I am certain, can take valium and drink pineapple juice with no interaction problem. There is not a lot of bromelain in pineapple juice anyway until it is extracted and concentrated into a supplement. But because I am hypersensitive, I can really juice my benzos with a single sip (2 tbsp or 1 oz) of pineapple juice. I can get into a mellow, trance-like, drunk-like state if I drink 8oz of juice.


I feel like this is a very dangerous thing to do, yet it is giving me relief that I want. Right now I have food backed up and my stomach is not digesting properly. I continue to lose weight. I am plagued by intense fear response. And things are going poorly. So I am trying this juice that I know is having, basically, a psychotropic effect when I need stability in my CNS more than anything. I don't see how I can ever give my brain a peaceful environment to heal in when I have such reactions to so many things. I am on an elimination diet, no drugs, no supps (other than zinc), barely eat but everything affects too greatly. Feel like I can't avoid the interactions, so why not take a little pineapple juice and relax. But is this a deal with the devil?


There is a reputable page about bromelain on Univ Maryland website.


This post is sorta "out there" so I don't know if anyone can advise... but please advise cuz I am lost.


I hope everyone is doing ok.



"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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I don't have a simple answer to this, but have some input that might either help or confuse the issue. Hopefully the former!


I have learned that paxil, which I was taking along with a benzodiazepine, may potentiate the effect of benzodiazepines. I wish I could find the reference I read about that while in acute paxil withdrawal, but haven't been able to; however my doctor feels it's very likely true.


If that's the case, paxil withdrawal may have caused an "effective" benzo withdrawal even though I didn't change my dose of the benzo at all.


If I had known about that possible interaction when I went off paxil (a very fast taper, though I had no idea of that at the time), I would have gone even slower than the very slow taper I now know is advised, because I may well have inadvertently experienced a dual withdrawal (though just partially from the benzo - a "virtual" large drop in effectiveness or blood levels though not in dosage ingested).


I have no idea which components of pineapple may be the potentiators of benzos. I hope others here can give more specific information, but if you continue to drink pineapple juice and it seems to be potentiating the benzos, my suggestion would be to taper even more slowly, especially at the end of your tapers.


But the reason the pineapple juice is helping your digestion, since benzos affect digestion very strongly both while taking them and especially in withdrawal, might be that very potentiating action.


If so, it might just mean that you need to taper even more slowly than you already are (smaller drops in dosage and/or more time between drops) , to reduce the digestive problems. If youdecide to keep drinking the pineapple juice, I would certainly go extra slow at the very end of your taper.


I don't know if papaya enzyme, peppermint tea, etc. might help your digestion. I don't recall any interactions with those, though I don't know how helpful they'd be. Depending on the specifics of your digestive problems, there are other things I could suggest, but sometimes people have digestive symptoms that are diametrically different, so I'm holding off on that right now.



I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants


I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.


My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.


If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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Interesting discussion.


I got no advice on this one. But Alex, you're so aware and informed and on top of things, I think you'll be okay whatever you decide to do.


And seriously given the digestive problems? if the pineapple juice makes it possible for you to eat and gain some weight and get your body stronger--I think that's pretty important.


Just as long as you know, which you do, that if you go off the pineapple juice it will be like making a cut in your meds, so if you're trying to hold med levels for a year or two as per your doc's instructions, which I think are sound, then you should probably plan to be consistent with the pineapple juice too. Unless you find it's making you sick or something.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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I think you're right to take this question seriously.


Building on what Brandy and Rhi said -- it makes sense to consider that *one* of the ways the pineapple is working is to increase your absorption of your medication. And you should probably consider the pineapple a psychoactive substance, which thus needs to be used consciously.


Here's how I would think about it for me.


I'd keep on trying every other option to aid digestion -- the apple cider vinegar, smaller portions, and any new ideas that come down the pike.


In the meantime, if the only way to digest reasonably well is to use the pineapple, I would use the pineapple.


However, I would not use the pineapple to address the fear, unless the fear became life-threatening.


I would drink the minimum amount of pineapple to do the job on digestion.


The first goal has to be to get to some stability on digestion.

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Hi Alex... I haven't had a chance to read all of your posts..., but I do hope you've been to a doctor to have your indigestion problems checked out. I'd also ask the doctor about the possibility of taking Prilosec for awhile, and see what he/she thinks. I've had several doctors suggest that I take it, and its helped me greatly!


I hope you start feeling better very soon!



Charter Member 2011

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alex -- what happened with taking pineapple juice? Did it keep on helping you to feel better?


I wonder if part of the beneficial effect might not come from vitamin C in the fresh juice, not to mention other nutrients, which went down easier because of the bromelain.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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I cant state any info on PPI's and AD withdrawal but many people on the benzo forums found they upset the nervous system and made withdrawal worse - they do act on the central nervous system


I did a quick medline search and found this---


The addition of

25 ml (5.0% v/v) of pineapple juice resulted in almost

complete inhibition of human CYP2C9 activity, and the

inhibition potency was more than a match for that of

sulfaphenazole, a potent inhibitor of CYP2C9.15)


CYP2C9 is the pathway most psyce drugs are detoxed out of the body with - so if it inhibits it you drug blood levels will go up substantially

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