Grapefruit Juice: is it Affecting Your Medication?

Most Americans who drink grapefruit juice do so for breakfast -- a time of day when many people also take medications. Grapefruit juice, it turns out, can affect some medications. So you may need to rethink your morning drink.

Don’t drink grapefruit juice if you’re taking any of these medications, unless advised to by your doctor:

  • Some statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs): lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor). (Other statins such as fluvastatin (Lescol), pravastatin (Pravachol), and rosuvastatin (Crestor) have little or no interaction with grapefruit juice.)
  • Antihistamines: fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Some type of calcium channel blockers (blood pressure drugs): felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab CR, Procardia)
  • Certain psychiatric drugs: buspirone, triazolam (Halcion), carbamazepine (Tegretol), diazepam (Valium), midazolam (Versed), sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Some immunosuppressants: cyclosporine (Neoral), tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • Certain pain medications: methadone
  • The impotence drug (erectile dysfunction): sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Some HIV medication: saquinavir (Invirase)
  • Some antiarrhythmics: amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone)

There are alternatives to many of these drugs. So, talk to your doctor about the possibility of using a different medication if avoiding grapefruit juice is not an option.

When you’re starting a new medication, it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor or pharmacist about any potential interactions between the new medication and foods, supplements, or other drugs you’re already taking.

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