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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid