Grapefruit can affect some medications


The Valley Morning Star on Jan. 18 reported that the Rio Red grapefruit is very good this year. Many Winter Texans and others in the Valley are enjoying this great treat.

But there are things to think about before eating grapefruit.

There are some possibly deadly interactions between grapefruit and common prescription medications. The result can be significant.
For example, taking one tablet of lovastatin (Mevacor) with a glass of grapefruit juice is the same as taking 12 to 15 tablets with a glass of water.

Some of the medications adversely affected by grapefruit interactions are the heart and blood pressure medications Plendil, Procardia and Sular.

It was found that the mixing of grapefruit juice and these medications cause the body to react as if two, three or even seven times the recommended dose had been ingested.

Cholesterol-lowering medications affected include Zocar, Mevacor and Pravachol.

Other medications mentioned as being adversely effected by grapefruit are estrogen, a female hormone; Coumadin, a blood thinner; caffeine; Cyclosporine, a transplant drug; and Tofranil, an antidepressant.

The effects of drinking grapefruit juice are accumulative, so if you drank a glass of the juice daily for a week the drug interaction would be stronger.

What is now known is that the flavonoids in grapefruit modify the metabolism of many medications.

You might want to check with your doctor if you are taking any of the above meds before you eat or drink grapefruit. If you are not on any of the above meds, please enjoy this great treat.

Ron Bunge
Rio Hondo