Apr 162012

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-anxiety Buspirone (BuSpar)
Anti-arrhythmia Amiodarone (Cordarone)
Antidepressant Sertraline (Zoloft)
Antihistamine Fexofenadine (Allegra)
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:

Artificial Sweeteners Poisoned Me – Could They Be Making You Sick? 

Medical Monday – Soda – Cancer Causing? Facts That Might Make You Cringe!

Medical Monday – Photosensitive Epilepsy – Is Your Site Seizure-Free Friendly?


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  8 Responses to “Medical Monday – Grapefruit Should Not Be Consumed With Certain Medications”

Comments (8)
  1. This is wonderful, my partner LOVES grapefruit and eats it all day long. But she also takes several medications above and now it makes sense of how she is feeling.

  2. Yep, absolutely true and great information to share.

  3. I had heard that before i take a lot meds so i need to be more careful

  4. WOW! who would of thought that a grapefruit could turn into a deadly weapon just by
    eating it with the wrong medication.medications. wow!

  5. WOW! who would of thought that a grapefruit could turn into a deadly weapon just by
    eating it with the wrong medication.medications. wow!

  6. I knew about grapefruit not being consumed with Statins, but I didn’t know about the other medications. This is really good information, as my family does eat grapefruit a lot here in Florida.

  7. I love grapefruit but if I am on meds I aviod it.

  8. I’ve been on several of those medications and I never remember hearing anything about fruit.

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