News / Health

More Drugs Found to Interact Dangerously with Grapefruit

Rio Red Grapefruit, January 2004 (file photo).Rio Red Grapefruit, January 2004 (file photo).
x
Rio Red Grapefruit, January 2004 (file photo).
Rio Red Grapefruit, January 2004 (file photo).
Jessica Berman
The number of prescription drugs that can have serious adverse side effects when interacting with grapefruit is on the rise, yet many physicians may be unaware of these effects, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
 
Between 2008 and 2012, researchers say, new drugs capable of adverse interactions arrived on the market annually, driving the total number of medications now known to have side effects when taken with grapefruit from 17 to 43.
 
According to David Bailey, a clinical pharmacologist at the Ontario-based Lawson Health Research Institute, grapefruit contains an enzyme called CYP23A4, which can interact with some medications in the gastrointestinal tract, reducing their effectiveness or raising their potency in the blood stream to dangerously high levels.
 
Drugs affected by the interaction with grapefruit include cholesterol-lowering medications and some that reduce high blood pressure.
 
Although many drug manufacturers put warnings about interactions with grapefruit on their labels, Bailey says many doctors are not aware of them.
 
“That’s our big concern," he said, "that this information needs to get out to the practicing clinicians so that they manage use of these drugs properly in their clinical practice.”
 
All of the drugs that can be affected by grapefruit juice are taken by mouth. Normally, says Bailey, only a small amount of the pills’ active ingredients enters the bloodstream after they’re swallowed. But he says the drug levels can rise dangerously if grapefruit is consumed, because of the interaction with CY23A4 in the stomach.
 
“This is a normal amount of grapefruit juice, we’re not talking about liters of grapefruit juice here," he says. "But levels can be boosted from the level we want in the body to therapeutic levels that are what we would consider to be high and toxic.”
 
According to Bailey, the interactions between grapefruit juice and some drugs can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory failure and sudden death — even a long time after the fruit or fruit juice is consumed.
 
Bailey says people should ask their doctor or pharmacists whether it’s OK to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice with a particular drug.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sean
November 30, 2012 12:44 PM
I take Itraconosole for histoplasmosis, and I know it is one of these medications that you cant take grapefruit with it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid