Your Morning Grapefruit and Your Perscription Drug May be at War With Each Other

English: A grapefruit from California cut in half

English: A grapefruit from California cut in half (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are taking a prescription drug for the treatment of a chronic condition, you may be unable to eat grapefruit because it will cause an adverse reaction. What’s worse is that your physician may not even know about this.

In an article published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, researchers noted that there are over 85 drugs that may interact with grapefruit, and 43 have possible serious adverse reactions. The culprits behind these interactions are furanocoumarins, a substance within grapefruit that interferes with the intestinal enzyme CYP3A4, which stops the effects of about 50 percent of all medication. What this means is that if the effects of the drug are not limited by the enzyme, it actually increases the level of the drug in your blood.

Drugs that typically interact with furanocoumarins have the following similarities:

  • They are taken orally
  • The rate of absorption into the blood circulation of the drug itself from the dose that was taken is low to moderate
  • They are metabolised in the gastrointestinal tract by CYP3A4

Drug interactions are possible even if grapefruit is eaten hours before taking the prescription, meaning that a single serving of grapefruit at breakfast can affect drugs that interact with it that are taken at any time throughout the day. If you eat grapefruit every day , this will increase the effect of the drug interaction.

Other citrus fruits that may cause drug interactions because they contain furanocoumarins include Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos.

Take a look at this video for some additional information about the study and where you can find information about drugs that interact with grapefruits: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/videos/news/Dangerous_112712-1.html

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~ by chasm63 on November 27, 2012.

6 Responses to “Your Morning Grapefruit and Your Perscription Drug May be at War With Each Other”

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