It is known that grapefruit and grapefruit juice can be beneficial to our health.
The fruit is high in essential nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium.
However, research has shown that when people take certain types of drugs, they should avoid consuming grapefruit juice or grapefruit.
This is because the mix can lead to dangerous interactions and harm their health.
According to Shiew Mei Huang, Ph.D., a scientist from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are several types of drugs that grapefruit juice can cause problems with (interact):
Some statin drugs, such as Zocor (simvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin);
Some high blood pressure drugs, such as Procardia and Adalat CC (both nifedipine);
Some drugs that treat organ-transplant rejection, such as Sandimmune and Neoral (both cyclosporine);
Some drugs that treat anxiety, such as buspirone;
Some drugs that treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, such as Entocort EC and Uceris (both budesonide);
Some drugs that treat abnormal heart rhythms, such as Pacerone and Nexterone (both amiodarone); and
Some antihistamines, such as Allegra (fexofenadine).
Research has shown that grapefruit juice can interact with drugs in two ways.
In a first way, the juice lets more of the drug enter the blood. When there is too much drug in the blood, you may have more side effects.
In a second way, the juice has the opposite effect on a few other drugs, meaning it prevents the drugs from entering the blood. This can reduce the drug’s effectiveness.
The severity of the interaction can be different depending on the person, the drug, and the amount of grapefruit juice he or she drinks.
The researcher suggests that patients need to talk to their doctors, pharmacists or other health care providers and read any information provided with their prescription or over-the-counter drug to find out.
It is also important to check the labels of other juices or drinks to see whether they contain grapefruit juice.
Some fruits such as Seville oranges, pomelos, and tangelos may have the same effect as grapefruit juice. Patients should avoid them if their medicine interacts with grapefruit juice.
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