Health experts are coming out with new reports that show grapefruit juice should not be mixed with certain medicines. Due to its vitamin C and potassium content, the juice and the fruit itself can be part of a healthy diet.
However, it’s not so good for you when combined with the wrong medication, especially if you have high blood pressure or arrhythmia (irregular or abnormal heart beat). This food and drug interaction can be a concern, says Shiew Mei Huang, PhD, of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA even requires some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs taken by mouth to include warnings against drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking the drug, Huang says.
“The severity of the interaction can be different depending on the person, the drug, and the amount of grapefruit juice you drink,” a reports from the FDA said.
Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider and read any information provided with your prescription or OTC drug to find out:
- If your specific drug may be affected.
- How much, if any, grapefruit juice you can have.
- What other fruits or juices may also affect your drug in a similar way to grapefruit juice.
Grapefruit juice affects medication by either allowing too much of the drug into your body, or by not allowing enough of the drug to enter your system.
Find Out if You Should Avoid Grapefruit or Other Juices
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider if you can drink grapefruit juice while taking your medication.
- Read the medication guide or patient information sheet that comes with your prescription drug to find out if grapefruit juice affects your drug.
- Read the Drug Facts label on your OTC drug, which will say whether you shouldn’t have grapefruit or other fruit juices with it.
- If you must avoid grapefruit juice with your medicine, check the labels of fruit juices or drinks flavored with fruit juice to see whether they are made with grapefruit juice.
- Seville oranges (often used to make orange marmalade), pomelos, and tangelos (a cross between tangerines and grapefruit) may have the same effect as grapefruit juice. Do not eat those fruits if your medicine interacts with grapefruit juice.