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Medicines & Graperfruit Juice Are Not A Good Cocktail

A lot of people drink grapefruit juice as part of a healthy diet but sometimes is has the opposite effect. There are great things in grapefruit  like vitamin C and potassium which our bodies need to work right.

It is NOT good for you when it interferes with how your medications work: both prescriptions & over-the-counter.

The key is that grapefruit joice INCREASES the absorption of drugs into the bloodstream. Suddenly you have a higher level of the drug floating around and this is when you tend to have adverse events (bad side-effects).

As an example: if you drink a lot of greapefruit jouice and take certain “statin” drugs to lower your cholesterol, too much of the drug may stay in your body which can lead to liver damage & muscle breakdown that can lead to kidney failure.

Even drinking it several hours before or after you take your medication can still be dangerous so it is best to avoid it or really limiting it when taking certain drugs.

Examples of some of the drugs (not a complete list) you may want to avoid with grapefruit juice:

Cholesterol lowering drugs: Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pracachol (pravastatin).

Blood Pressure meds such as: Nifediac & Afeditab (both nifedipine)

Organ Transplant Rejection Drugs: Sandimmune & Neoral (both cyclosporine)

Anti-Anxiety Drugs like Buspar (buspirone)

Anti-Arrhythmia Drugs: Cordarone & Nexterone (both amiodarone)

Anti-Histamines like Allegra (fexofenadine)

Remember, grapefruit juice does not affect ALL the drugs in the above catagories so ask your pharmacist (the drug expert) or your physician to find out if your drug is affected. The FDA does require labels on some medications that warn against grapefruit juice consumption.

Also, Seville oranages & tangelos affect the same enzyme as grapefruit juice so avoid these fruits as well if your medicine interacts with grapefruit juice.

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