Why Grapefruit and Medications Can Be a Dangerous Mix
Before you cut into that grapefruit ( or tangelos or seville oranges )or down that glass of juice, be sure to check whether it is safe to pair grapefruit with the medications you are taking. This includes vitamins and supplements.
Both the juice and the fruit itself can interact with more than 50 drugs, such as cholesterol medication and all statins, high blood pressure medication and allergy, cold and flu medications, cardiac meds including coumatin/warfarin, and all injectibles.
Grapefruit and medications could cause problems in two ways. First, grapefruit can block a key drug-metabolizing enzyme in your body, which in turn could lead to increase in the blood levels of certain drugs. IF that happens, it increases the risk of experiencing a side effect from that drug. On the flip side, it can also block absorption of certain drugs in your intestines. In that case, you could have less of the drug in your bloodstream than what you need, so the drug in your bood stream than what you need, so the drug might not be as effective for its intended purpose.
Surprisingly it does not take much of the fruit for a grapefruit and medication interaction to happen. As little as 1 cup of juice and two wedges of the fruit can be enough to cause problems.
If you regularly eat grapefruit or drink its juice find out if your medication interacts with the fruit. Some medications, but not all medictions will be labeled ” Do Not Take With Grapefruit”, or on the inserts when you pick up your medications. These labels will not be on injectibles. Injectibles are sometimes given in a clinic or office, and many times the personnel giving the injection does not know chemical interactions. Dr. David Bailey of University of Western Ontario was the first chemist/pharmacologist to identify this problem with all injectibles.
Watch out for These Grapefruit and Medication Interactions
Besides some of the medications listed in the article
watch out for:
Lipitor, Pravachol, simvastin, Zocor, and all cholesterol medications
All high blood pressure medications, including Afeditab and Procardia
Organ Transplant medications : cyclosporin, Neoral, Sandimmune,
All auto-immune medications for Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Anti-anxiety medications, including alprazolam, xanax and prozac
All cardiac medications, including amiodarone, Cordarone, Nexterone
All allergy medications, including diphenhydramine ( Benedryl), Allegra and Claritiin
All cough and cold medications
It is also recommended to stop eating tangelos and seville oranges, used to make orange marmalade, because these also affect the same enzyme as grapefruit.
Ask your healthcare worker or the pharmacist if there is another medication that does not act with these fruits. You might find out that they dont know about the tangelos or seville oranges. You Do!
But it is always best, just not to eat the fruits.
Health and Wellness Associates