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Question

Do some medications interact with grapefruit juice?

Answer

Some prescription medications may indeed interact with grapefruit juice. Various chemical processes help break down medications within the body, and studies have found that grapefruit juice and whole grapefruit block a specific enzyme in the liver and the small intestines - interacting with the way medications interact with the body. Only medications that are metabolized by this enzyme will be affected by grapefruit juice. The result of the interaction is higher-than-normal blood levels of the medication and potential adverse effects. The increases in blood levels of the medication may continue 24 hours after consuming grapefruit juice.

Medications affected by this interaction include certain calcium channel blockers (for example, nifedipine), benzodiazepines (including alprazolam and diazepam), some cholesterol-lowering medications in the statin family (such as lovastatin and simvastatin), and medications used to suppress the immune system (for example, cyclosporine).

Note that tangelos and Seville oranges and their juice may have a similar effect as grapefruit.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if the prescription drug you take may interact with grapefruit juice, or to find out if a non-interacting medication is available to treat your condition.

Get information about your medications.

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DISCLAIMER:

Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a Walgreens.com pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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