LCHM Fall 2017 - 17

L C M E D S O C .O R G

THE UGLY

Most drugs that have a significant
interaction with grapefruit are labeled
on its packaging as such. Examples
of common drugs that interact with
grapefruit can be found below.

Cholesterol lowering drugs (statins)
Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin)

Blood pressure drugs
Nifediac or Afeditab (nifedipine),
Plendil (felodipine)

Anxiety drugs
BuSpar (buspirone)

Grapefruit also causes issues that are not related
to drug interactions. People with kidney disease
should be careful about the amount of potassium
they consume.
Grapefruit is rich in potassium which builds
up in people with kidney disease. Also, people
with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can
experience an increase in heartburn symptoms
because the fruit and juice is highly acidic.
THE RECOMMENDATION
Grapefruit is a wonderful produce that has a
lot of health benefits. However, caution should
be taken when using certain medications or
with certain health conditions. The best way
to avoid the issues that this citrus fruit causes is
to avoid or limit it. If you are a grapefruit lover,
ask your healthcare provider is there is another
medication you can take that does not have an
interaction. You can also explore some other fruits
and juices. Always check with your pharmacist or
other healthcare provider if you are not sure if it
is safe. Grapefruit is certainly a friend. However,

if you fail to take the proper precautions, it can
become your worst enemy.
REFERENCES

Agrana Group (2017). The Misleading Name and 10
Other Fun Facts. Retrieved from
http://www.agrana.com/en/products/fruit/
fruit-preparations/trendblog/fruit-of-the-month/fun-facts/
Gorinstein S., Caspi A., Libman I., Lerner H.T., Huang
D., Leontowicz H., Tashma Z., Katrich E., Feng S. &
Trakhentenb S. (2006). Red grapefruit positively influences serum triglyceride level in patients suffering from
coronary atherosclerosis: studies in vitro and in humans. J
Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 8;54(5):1887-9
Ware M. (2015). Grapefruit: Health Benefits, Facts, Research. Medical News Today.
Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
articles/280882.php
Grapefruit. In: Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. (2016)
Clinical Drug Information, LLC.
Bailey D.G., Dresser G., Malcolm J. & Arnold O. (2013).
Grapefruit-medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or
avoidable consequences? CMAJ. 2013 Mar 5; 185(4):
309-316.
FDA Consumer Health Information (2014). Grapefruit
Juice and Medicine May Not Mix. U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. 2014 Jan: 1-2.

Arrhythmia drugs (heart)
Cordarone or Nexterone (amiodarone),
Multaq (dronedarone)  

Migraine drugs
Cafergot or Ergomar (ergotamine),
Elavil (amitriptyline), Nimotop
(nimodipine)

Immunosuppressant drugs
Prograf (tacrolimus), Rapamune
(sirolimus), Sandimmune Neoral
(cyclosporine)

Erectile dysfunction drugs
Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil),
Levitra (vardenafil)

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