pitcher of grapefruit juice

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice have the potential to interact in a dangerous way with a wide range of medications. It makes sense to ask the prescriber and the pharmacist about this potential.

Q. I’ve just been put on simvastatin to control my cholesterol. I’m also on amiodarone for my heart. I take blood pressure pills, an antidepressant and quite a few other medications including warfarin, which is for my atrial fibrillation.

I had no idea that grapefruit juice wasn’t good if you’re on certain pills. I just read about this on your website.

I drink loads of pink grapefruit juice. Could there be any problem with my medications?

A. Yikes! Almost all your medications interact dangerously with grapefruit juice (pink or white).

The effects of simvastatin, amiodarone and warfarin could all be magnified by grapefruit (Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, online, March 18, 2014). Certain blood pressure pills (felodipine and similar drugs) and the antidepressant sertraline also interact with grapefruit (World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, vol. 10, no. 4, part 3, 2009).

Our free Guide to Grapefruit Interactions has information about dangerous grapefruit juice interactions. Ask your doctor whether there are non-interacting substitutes for your medications.

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  1. Claire
    Richardson, TX
    Reply

    After just having lost a sister-in-law to amiodarone toxicity, be very wary and monitor your lungs closely when taking this medication. I would hope they will soon have another medication for a-fib without death as a side effect.

  2. San D.
    Hamburg, NY
    Reply

    Somehow, Diltiazem doesn’t get added to some lists of calcium channel blockers affected by grapefruit juice, although there is a list , printed out for me by my pharmacist, of some 99 foods which might interact. Re oranges, a pharmacist mentioned that because there are sometimes crosses of oranges with grapefruit, oranges might also affect blood levels of medications. Hard to keep track of all these admonitions.

  3. Sue D.
    Florida
    Reply

    You mention interaction with the wall of the “intestine”….large or small? I do not have a large intestine & just wondered if I need to be concerned about the interaction with grapefruit. Thanks.

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