Many people do not realize, and often aren’t told, that one should avoid grapefruit when prescribed certain medications.
Grapefruit, including grapefruit juice, along with certain other citrus fruits, should not be consumed with certain medications. These fruits interact with the medications in the way they are metabolized. They contain compounds that can/do interfere with the enzymes that metabolize certain medications in your digestive system. In doing so, more of the medications stay in your body, thus increasing the potency of the medication. When one has too high of a level of certain meds in their system, the result can be serious side effects and toxicity.
It’s always best to check with your pharmacist to see if any of the medications you’ve been subscribed warrant you to stay away from citrus fruits and juices.
Here’s a partial list of meds known to interact with grapefruit products (per the Mayo Clinic):
|Anti-retroviral||Saquinavir (Invirase), indinavir (Crixivan)|
|Anti-seizure||Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol)|
|Calcium channel blocker||Nifedipine (Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular)|
|Immunosuppressant||Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune)|
|Statin||Simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor)|
WebMD also lists these meds in addition to the ones above:
- halofantrine (Halfan)
- sildenafil (Viagra)
- Ant-HIV medication: saquinavir (Invirase)
- triazolam (Halcion)
- carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- diazepam (Valium)
- midazolam (Versed)
It is recommended that if you are taking meds that interact with grapefruit or grapefruit juice, that you stay away from it completely. This is because some meds stay in your system for a longer period of time than other meds do. Even drinking a glass of grapefruit juice two or three hours after taking the med can cause serious side effects and even after 24 hours of coming off meds can cause serious side effects.
Wondering about other drug and food interactions? The National Consumers League and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a publication you can view and download.
Past Medical Monday Posts: