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About 80 Drugs Interact With Grapefruit

About 80 Drugs Interact With Grapefruit

LONDON, Ontario (UPI) — More than 80 common medications interact with grapefruit — about half with serious complications, including death, Canadian researchers say.

David Bailey, a clinical pharmacologist at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, first discovered the interaction between grapefruit and certain medications more than 20 years ago. Since then, the number of drugs with the potential to interact has jumped.

“What I’ve noticed over the last four years is really quite a disturbing trend and that is the increase in the number of drugs that can produce not only adverse reactions but extraordinarily serious adverse drug reactions,” Bailey told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Many of the drugs are common, such as some cholesterol-lowering statins, antibiotics and calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure. Other medications include agents used to fight cancer or suppress the immune system in people who have received an organ transplant, Bailey said.

People age 45 and older buy the most grapefruit and take the most prescription drugs, making this group the most likely to face interactions, Bailey said.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, said of the 85 known drugs that interact with grapefruit, 43 can have serious side effects, including sudden death, acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and bone marrow suppression in people with weakened immune systems.

“Taking one tablet with a glass of grapefruit juice is like taking 20 tablets with a glass of water,” Bailey said. “This is unintentional overdosing. So it’s not surprising that these levels go from what we call therapeutic to toxic.”

All sources of grapefruit — the whole fruit or a glass of grapefruit juice — and other citrus fruit such as Seville oranges (often used in marmalade), limes and pomelos can lead to drug interactions.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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  • Robert Smith

    From the article: ““Taking one tablet with a glass of grapefruit juice is like taking 20 tablets with a glass of water,” Bailey said. “This is unintentional overdosing. So it’s not surprising that these levels go from what we call therapeutic to toxic.””

    So, for those of us who like grapefruit why not talk with the doctor and take a dose that is 1/20th of “normal” and let the grapefruit supercharge it?

    Instead of fighting things, why not work with them?


    • Charlie

      Robert Smith,,,
      Good idea,,,but,,, most Doctors will not go along with your math because it reduces their money numbers … Most Doctors make bucks on drugs , and, most put the priority on bucks , not your life… I base MY comment on watching the Medical system for more than 50years… Meanwhile………………..
      Praise King Jesus for Salvation and Healing… Acts 2:38 is salvation…

      Charlie Freedom

      • Tooti Fruit

        Amen, Charlie! This is something the liberals/communists do not like to hear.

  • MontanaGrandmom

    This is a hollow, incomplete article. It smacks of ‘Headline News’-all hype, not meat. All it does is throw out a warning generating fear with no real information. (Citrus growers everywhere should be up in arms!) Where is the list of these drugs? Now that would have been newsworthy and completed the article. All the more reason to avoid Big Pharma and seek natural remedies.

    • Tom Williams

      Agreed. Article Lacks important detail. Should be cleaned up or sheeple will either stop taking meds or stop eating wonderful grapefruit and other citus.

      PS. I also agree with you MontanaGrandmom that the pop-up ads suck!

    • pweiters9

      12/1/12, I’m 65, I take Simvastatin & Warfarin. I like the pink grapefruit; I peel it like an orange w/no ill effects.

  • MontanaGrandmom

    PLEASE!!! Ditch the pop up ads!!! I come here for information, not to be sold stuff.

  • Linda whiting

    Excellent suggestion–I agree with you. Your approach is the intelligent one, very workable by adjusting your dose of the meds. And continue to enjoy grapefruit.

  • James Kirksey

    Grapefruit and all citrus are good foods that should not be black balled by an incomplete article. Grapefruit lovers should check with their doctor concerning medications they take and work through or around the problem. Some of my Medications interact with each other. This has been overcome by taking that specific pill one hour before the others. Use a computer search engine for information, also. Your doctor may suggest that you only eat grapefruit at noon or in the evening after the daily pills have been taken earlier. We need fruits in our diets for better health.

  • Annie Swain

    I am a heart patient and take quite a number of pills daily. The only one they told me not to take with grapefruit was Zocor or it’s substitute Simvastatin. I loved pink grapefruit but I was told never to eat any grapefruits or anything with grapefruit in it as long as I take this medication. I don’t know about any of the others but that one can kill you when taken and eating grapefruit. Or so I’ve been told by my doctors.

    • phyllis47

      I recommend that you check with your druggist instead of the doctor.

  • Shorty

    Whoever writes such stupid articles should be on the unemployment line. What is the cause? Is it the citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), some other compound unique to Grapefruit but not in lemons, limes, tangerines, etc? The stupidity of today’s media boggles the mind.

    • phyllis47

      It is a compound unique to grapefruits. I sell grapefruits at the loca farmers’ market and I always caution new customers to check if they are one meds. (I want them around to purchase more fruits in the future!)

      • phyllis47

        Should read “ON meds” – typing too fast.

      • Islandbreeze

        Phyllis, you say that the issue is a compound unique to only grapefruit, but the article gives a quick mention of other citrus fruit such as Seville oranges (often used in marmalade), limes and pomelos that can also lead to drug interactions. I’ve always heard about grapefruit, but never limes etc. And of course as so many others have pointed out, this is at best a very incomplete article. Are you familiar with any problems from mixing other citrus fruits with medications?

  • trailbee

    So, did I miss it, or where is access to the list?

  • Roger Jack Young

    If this is journalism then I am Bugs Bunny!

  • norm harder

    This researcher may be wary of publishing the whole list of meds as the pharma companies might jump all over him and threaten him with legal action. The glaring ommision on his part is that you can get the list of meds when you go see your doctor and have a PRIVATE discussion about them. Don’t be to quick to condemn him as he is quite smartly covering his own ass while putting out such very important info. It is up to us to do the rest.






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