Grapefruit Drug Interactions

Florida grapefruit
Cell phone picture by Don Schumann

Fruit Reacts Dangerously with Expanding List of Medications, Study Says

While eating a grapefruit or drinking its juice may be an excellent way to get a delicious, tangy dose of vitamin C, doctors now warn that the citrus fruit may prove hazardous when combined with certain prescription drugs.

Although the combination of grapefruit and certain medications has long been known to cause problems, a new study by a team of Canadian researchers has revealed that the number of these drugs has increased throughout the years.

"The number of drugs on the market with the potential to produce serious adverse and in many cases life-threatening effects when combined with grapefruit has markedly increased over the past few years from 17 to 43 in four years," said lead researcher David Bailey, from the Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada, according to HealthDay.

Bailey added that a total of more than 85 drugs on the market may interact in some way with grapefruit.

CBC writes:

Many of the drugs are common, such as some cholesterol-lowering statins, antibiotics and calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure. Others include agents used to fight cancer or suppress the immune system in people who've received an organ transplant.

People older than 45 buy the most grapefruit and take the most prescription drugs, making this group the most likely to face interactions, researchers said.

"Half of these drugs actually can cause sudden death," Bailey said, adding that interactions may also result in "acute kidney or respiratory failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, or other serious effects," according to the Ottawa Citizen.

As HealthDay reports, even small amounts of grapefruit or its juice have the potential to cause serious problems.


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