- Check to see if your medication is on the grapefruit interaction list. For several years the grapefruit effect was believed to be limited to very few drugs: most calcium channel blockers, a couple of the statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, and several benzodiazepines (sedatives). But as more and more drugs have been tested, scientists have found that grapefruit interactions are fairly common (85 drugs have been identified so far). That said, research on grapefruit interactions is far from complete. If you’re unsure about any drugs you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
- If your drug is on the interaction list, do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. Whereas most food-drug interactions can be avoided simply by taking the substances several hours apart, grapefruit may inhibit CYP3A for up to 72 hours. So if you have a glass of grapefruit juice on Monday, your body’s ability to metabolize your drug may be compromised until Thursday!
- If you consume grapefruit regularly and you’re taking any of the listed drugs, do not abruptly give up grapefruit. This could dramatically reduce or increase the blood levels of your medications, so discuss this with your doctor.
- Read labels carefully—mixed juices may contain grapefruit.
- Avoid tangelos and Seville oranges, which have effects similar to grapefruit.
DISCLAIMER: The content of DrWhitaker.com is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.