The Dangers of Mixing Grapefruit & Pills: What You Need to Know NOW

OMG 13

grapefruitWant a super healthy snack? Well, look no further: How 'bout some grapefruit? Low calorie, high fiber and packed with vitamins, you can't go wrong with grapefruit ... right? Ha! Nope! WRONG. You're wrong! But don't feel too bad, because I was wrong about grapefruit, too. I mean, I kind of knew that mixing grapefruit with certain medications was a bad plan, but I never really knew why -- or how dangerous the combination can be. No idea!

And I'm a total nerd about health and nutrition stuff, so I really should've known better. But I just kind of assumed high levels of vitamin C had something to do with the conflict, which I just kind of assumed had something to do with making medications less effective than usual. Which seemed, you know, not ideal -- but not potentially lethal!

WRONG. In case you happen to be similarly misinformed, here are a few facts about drugs and grapefruit:

Vitamin C isn't the problem. Turns out active ingredients in some citrus fruits called "furanocoumarins" are the culprit -- they block an enzyme in the human body which plays a huge part in metabolizing drugs.

Grapefruit makes some medicines MORE potent, not less. According to clinical pharmacologist David Bailey, "Taking one tablet [of certain medications] with a glass of grapefruit juice is like taking 20 tablets with a glass of water." The effect can lead to toxic (deadly) overdoses.

Many of the prescription drugs on the market with the potential to interact badly with grapefruit are very common; among them: Cholesterol-lowering statins, antibiotics, calcium channel blockers (used to treat high blood pressure), cancer-fighting medications and immune system suppressants.

The take-home message, as ever: If you take any prescription drugs, check with your doctor about possible interactions. (Not just with grapefruit, but supplements and everything else -- even milk!)

Did you know mixing grapefruit with certain medications could be so dangerous?


Image via Barbara L. Hanson/Flickr

drugs, eating healthy, general health


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Bridg... Bridget1981

Actually, I did.  But only because my father had a quad bypass a couple of years ago.  Learned all about it then.


Karma Grant

Yup I did because my doctor was adamant that I DO NOT consume grapefruit in any way while taking my meds. No biggie because I can't stand grapefruit!

Tracys2 Tracys2

I knew about cholesterol drugs, because my husband takes them. Didn't know so many others. I love grapefruit! Maybe I should eat them now while I can 

amazz... amazzonia

I was shocked to hear it on the news last night, I thought everyone knew already, I'm not a doctor but I always knew and heard about it...I'm shocked that people really didn't know

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I was a freshman in college and learned the hard way... I was taking antibiotics and thought that I'd try and help my immune system by eating extra healthy food- why not a grapefruit? It wasn't long into my Art History class that I found out- and by the grace of all things holy was able to make it out of the room so that everyone there with me did not have to learn the same lesson!

I was violently ill and it scared the heck out of me. The doctor laughed when he figured out what I'd done- told me that he'd make it standard to tell future students that grapefruit was NOT their friend when prescribing said meds.

Felly... FellyScarlett

I learned a few years ago when I started take perscription migrain meds.

Doomy234 Doomy234

Yep. Learned about it the hard way 2 years ago when my husband had a scary reaction from grapefruit with his meds. Then the doctor was all "haha, oh yeah forgot to tell you. Dont eat grapefruit."


I read this article on Yahoo a few days ago, the 27th to be exact. You should give credit to the original writer when credit is due, not just change the pic and call it your article. Smh

godde... goddess99

I had no idea.

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