Grapefruit Juice and Drug Interactions

Many patients are asking about the potential for drug interactions with grapefruit juice. Sometimes you can receive a medication prescription container with an affixed warning label that recommends you avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking the medication. But why is this so important? The Interactions with grapefruit can occur with common and important medications like the one we used for lowering cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, and some cancer medication . Grapefruit juice can affect how drugs are changed (metabolized) in the body for eventual elimination and can alter the amount of drug in your blood and this can cause you can take the benefit from your drug.

Taking medications at a different time from when grapefruit juice is consumed will not prevent the interaction. The effects of grapefruit juice on certain medications can last for over 24 hours. So, even if you take a medicine that is given only once per day, grapefruit and grapefruit juice should still be avoided for the entire treatment period. This is some Side effects can range from abnormal heart rhythms, stomach bleeding, muscle pain, muscle breakdown, kidney damage, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, sedation, and dizziness.

Other reactions may occur it depends on the drug and the levels of the drug in the blood. common medications that interact with grapefruit juice include certain statin cholesterol drugs such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin, simvastatin (Zocor), felodipine (Plendil) and other calcium channel blockers, clarithromycin (Biaxin), and loratadine (Claritin). Some immunosuppressants have been reported to cause kidney damage, and certain pain medications when mixed with grapefruit juice may be linked with depressed breathing.

Salaheldin Elabiad, MPharm


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