The New York Times reported that grapefruit can cause adverse reactions to a wide variety of prescription drugs, viagra usa leading to accidental overdose, high blood pressure, and even death. Drugs causing these adverse reactions include common cholesterol-lowering drugs, anticancer drugs, immunosuppressant medications, AIDS medications, birth control pills, and more.
The reason is quite straight forward. According to the Times, grapefruit contains a chemical that inhibits an enzyme in the gut that deactivates drugs to a safe dosage for the body to absorb. Since the drug is no longer deactivated, the body absorbs much more of it than normal.
“Under normal circumstances, the drugs are metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract, and relatively little is absorbed, because an enzyme in the gut called CYP3A4 deactivates them,” reported the Times. “But grapefruit contains natural chemicals called furanocoumarins, that inhibit the enzyme, and without it the gut absorbs much more of a drug and blood levels rise dramatically.”
If you aren’t sure whether or not it’s safe to consume grapefruit or any other citrus fruits while taking your medication, consult your doctor immediately. In the meantime, follow these tips from the Times:
- If you take oral medication of any kind, check the list to see if it interacts with grapefruit. Make sure you understand the potential side effects of an interaction; if they are life-threatening or could cause permanent injury, avoid grapefruit altogether. Some drugs, such as clopidogrel, may be less effective when taken with grapefruit.
- If you take one of the listed drugs a regular basis, keep in mind that you may want to avoid grapefruit, as well as pomelo, lime and marmalade. Be on the lookout for symptoms that could be side effects of the drug. If you are on statins, this could be unusual muscle soreness.
- It is not enough to avoid taking your medicine at the same time as grapefruit. You must avoid consuming grapefruit the whole period that you are on the medication.
- In general, it is a good idea to avoid sudden dramatic changes in diet and extreme diets that rely on a narrow group of foods. If you can’t live without grapefruit, ask your doctor if there’s an alternative drug for you. rug and blood levels rise dramatically.