Grapefruit Juice Can Interact with Medicines

grapefruitGrapefruit affects your medication. That’s because they contain chemicals that cause problems with the enzymes that breakdown certain types of medicines in your intestines.

The bad part is that when medicine does not get broken down properly in the intestines, it ends up in your blood. Too much blood in the blood can cause some serious side effects.

Medicines that are affected by grapefruit

Most medicines do not get affected by grapefruit juice. However, there are about 50 medicines that are affected by this juice. Here are some of them:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Blood clots
  • Cancer
  • Cough
  • Depression
  • Emphysema
  • Epilepsy
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart attack or heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • HIV
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Stroke

Of course not every single medication for the conditions listed above are affected by grapefruit juice. Ask your doctor if your medicine can be affected by the juice and if you need to change your medicine to avoid health problems.

Is grapefruit juice safe for you?

If you do drink grapefruit regularly, ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medicines are affected by grapefruit juice. If you there are unusual side effects or if you feel sick when you take you medicines, see your doctor.

All new medicines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are tested for problems for problems caused by grapefruit juice. Medicines that are affected by grapefruit juice must have a warning in their patient information sheet. When buying medicine, ask you pharmacist about which foods to avoid when taking your medicine. Better yet, ask for written information. Some medicines actually have warnings in sections of their bottle labels or boxes regarding "food-drug" interactions.

Generally, the more grapefruit juice you have, the greater the possible effects. Tests have shown that even 1 glass of grapefruit can have an effect on certain medicines and even cause them to work differently from what they are supposed to. The effects of grapefruit juice can sometimes last up to 3 days. If you really are into grapefruit juice, in most cases, a single glass of grapefruit doesn’t cause any problems. Ask you doctor how much grapefruit juice is safe to have while taking medicines.

What can happen if grapefruit juice affects my medicine?

Problems from grapefruit vary from mild to severe. For instance, if you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, you may develop extremely low blood pressure. If for instance, you are taking a medicine for high cholesterol, you may develop muscle break down, even liver failure. Generally, older people are more likely to have serious problems than younger people.

To know specific kinds of health problems you could have if you drink grapefruit juice while taking certain medicines, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Some steps to avoid problems

Read the labels on foods and natural health products to make sure they do not contain grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or grapefruit extract. You may also want to avoid Seville oranges (which are sometimes used in marmalade but not in orange juice), pomelos, and tangelos, because some studies have shown that they can also cause problems. Always read the warning labels for any medicine you are taking. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor and other health professionals about all the medicines you are taking, both prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter