Grapefruit Juice and Medicine


Have you ever heard that drinking grapefruit juice can interfere with certain medicines? This is true. But, do you know why and which medicines you shouldn't combine with grapefruit juice?

Drinking grapefruit juice with certain medicines can cause the drugs to become more concentrated in your blood. Grapefruit juice contains certain chemicals that block inportant enzymes in your small intestine. These enzymes are important because they normally break down medicine in our body. Without this enzyme working properly, too much medicne can build up in your body.

While life-threatening problems are rare, you should still avoid drinking grapefruit juice if you’re taking sleeping pills such as Halcion (triazolam); cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin); or medicines to reduce anxiety like Xanax (alprazolam) or Valium (diazepam). Problems have also been reported with some drugs used to lower blood pressure, such as Plendil (felodipine), Adalat or Procardia (nifedipine), Isoptin or Calan (verapamil), and Norvasc (amlodipine). However, if you’re already taking your blood pressure medication with grapefruit juice regularly, and you’re not having a problem, don’t stop. By now, this has been factored into deciding the best dose to control your blood pressure. If you stop drinking grapefruit juice, your blood pressure could go up.

If you’re taking medicine, ask your pharmacist or physician whether it’s safe to drink grapefruit juice, too.

Created on September 1, 2011

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