Your breakfast could cause your medications to go from safe to harmful. Find out which drugs interact with this surprising breakfast food.
A little bit of research revealed that grapefruit and grapefruit juice interferes with quite a few medications:
- certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
- certain antihistaimes
- blood pressure medication
- certain psychiatric drugs, like Zoloft and Valium
- immune-suppressing medications
- Invirase (an HIV drug)
- Cordarone, which helps regulate heart rate
Grapefruit juice contains compounds called furanocoumarins that researchers believe are the reason that it can interfere with some medications. They suspect that furanocoumarins – a compound in grapefruit juice – prevent your small intestine from properly breaking down the drugs in your system. The effects from a glass of grapefruit juice could last as long as 24 hours.
Since grapefruit juice specifically interferes with breaking down medications, combining it with certain drugs and supplements can cause a buildup of those drugs in your system. In extreme cases, this can lead to organ damage or dangerously impaired organ function.
Around 20 percent of Americans drink grapefruit juice at breakfast. If you are a grapfruit juice-drinker, you can talk to your doctor or a pharmacist about whether grapefruit juice might cause problems for you. Your doctor may be able to help you find an alternative medication, so that you don’t have to worry about grapefruit juice interacting with your medication.
There are foods besides grapefruit juice that can interact in weird ways with over the counter and prescription medications. Supplements and other drugs can also cause you issues. Ask your doctor or a pharmacist to go over any potential interactions.