Grapefruit Can Cause Life Threatening Reaction with Prescriptions


Grapefruit, a citrus championed for its health benefits, and contributions to weight loss, is now found to be a hazard for those taking certain prescription drugs. Chemical compounds found in the fruit, called furanocoumarins, can render the enzymes in the stomach responsible for breaking down drugs ineffective. When drugs remain in your system unmetabolized, the levels of the prescription in your bloodstream can rise to dangerous, and even toxic levels. Taking a drug like blood pressure medication, with grapefruit juice, or after eating a grapefruit stunts your body’s ability to process the drug, resulting in a much higher dosage comparable to taking three, four or ten pills instead of one in your system.

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that the risk of grapefruit interacting with prescriptions is highest for women, especially those who take birth control, anti-anxiety medication, or sleeping pills. Don’t feel like you have to completely give up the fruit just yet, but be sure to consult with your doctor any time you add a new prescription to your regimen, and ask about interactions with grapefruit and other drugs you may be taking. You can also consult of drugs known to have negative side-effects when combined with grapefruit.

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