Grapefruit Warning: Medicine Interaction List Expanded; Are You At Risk?
Grapefruit interaction warnings are nothing new. But now doctors are expanding the list of medicines that can't be taken with the fruit, based on a new report released by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
According to researchers at the University of Western Ontario the 17 drugs that were identified in 2008 as potential problems only represented a small fraction of prescriptions that could be dangerous when taken with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. The revised list has grown to an alarming 43 medications. Scroll down for the full list below.
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"The frequency of these reactions may be small, but the risks are not worth it, especially for drugs which could cause sudden death," said lead study author David Bailey, a professor of pharmacology and one of the first to notice problems with grapefruit juice and medication interaction. "Physicians need to know that this affects a number of new drugs and apply this information to their practice and patients."
It's hard to believe that a piece of fruit could cause such grave problems. But a chemical contained in grapefruits, furanocoumarins, has been proven to interrupt the breakdown of certain drugs in the body. When the medications can't break down properly, the drug causes the equivalent of an over-dose effect that, in some cases, can be toxic.
Even without fatal side effects, a grapefruit interaction can provoke severe symptoms like heart rhythm problems, kidney failure, muscle breakdown, difficulty with breathing and blood clots. Atorvastatin, often known by the brand name Lipitor, and heart medications like Verapamil and Amiodarone are three of the medications that can cause the biggest issues.
Bailey emphasizes that even consumption of one grapefruit or an 8-ounce glass of grapefruit juice can prompt severe side effects when a medication is taken within 24 hours. Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos can spur the same problem.
If you're concerned, contact a physician or pharmacist. To get started, we've included the expanded grapefruit warning list below:
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