The FDA requires that some prescription and over-the-counter medications include a warning about drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking the medication. This is because although grapefruit is rich in vitamin C and potassium, grapefruit and grapefruit juice can alter the way your medication works.
In some cases, grapefruit juice enables more of the drug to enter your blood, than is intended. This can lead to adverse side effects and possible organ damage. In other cases, grapefruit may slow the transport of medication into your body’s cells, so the medication doesn’t work as well as it should. Here is a list of 9 common types of medications that interact with grapefruit.
Common Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
There are dozens of individual generic and brand drugs that interact with grapefruit, so be sure to read all warnings on all of your medications. It is also smart to ask your pharmacist about possible drug interactions if you regularly enjoy grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Types of common medications that are known to interact with grapefruit include:
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) medications
- Anti-rejection medications
- Anti-infection medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Blood thinners
- Cholesterol medications
- Mental health medications
- Men’s health medications
- Steroid medications
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
Medications used to help regulate arrhythmia, also known as an abnormal heart rhythm may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
You should avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit if you are taking the brand drugs Pacerone or Nexterone, and their generic amiodarone.
Anti-Rejection Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
Organ transplant recipients need to exercise caution when it comes to eating grapefruit, or drinking grapefruit juice, as unwanted side effects may occur if you’re taking certain anti-rejection medications.
Avoid grapefruit if you’re taking the brand drugs Sandimmune and Neoral, or their generic cyclosporine.
Anti-Infection Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
Medications used to prevent infections are known as antimicrobials. Some of these medications warn against eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking them.
Blood Pressure Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
Calcium-channel blocking medications that are used to lower blood pressure may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
If you are prescribed Procardia or its generic nifedipine, avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Also, be sure to avoid grapefruit and its juice if you are prescribed Plendil and its generic felodipine.
Blood Thinners that Interact with Grapefruit
Medications prescribed to increase blood flow and prevent blood clots are commonly called blood thinners. Some blood thinners may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
Cholesterol Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
Certain cholesterol medications known as statins may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
Mental Health Medications That Interact with Grapefruit
Medications prescribed to treat anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and other mental health conditions may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Read the warnings carefully on any mental health medications.
Men’s Health Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
Men should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice if they are prescribed certain medications to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate or erectile dysfunction.
Viagra and its generic sildenafil, and tadalafil, the generic for Cialis may interact with grapefruit. Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice if you take tamsulosin, the generic for Flomax, or silodosin, the generic for Rapaflo.
Steroid Medications that Interact with Grapefruit
A few corticosteroid medications may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Therefore, you should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice if you are prescribed certain steroids.
Talk to Your Health Care Provider
Whenever you are prescribed a new medication, be sure to ask your health care provider any questions you may have about interactions with other medications, supplements, vitamins, or food. You should also ask your pharmacist any questions about possible interactions, during your medication consultation at the pharmacy.
RxSaver Editors are wellness enthusiasts who help you learn how you can save the most on prescription medication costs and other health-related topics.
Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS
Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS., is a pharmacist who earned her PharmD from St. John’s University in Queens, NY. She maintains an active practice, serving as a Board-Certified Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Specialist at a large metropolitan teaching hospital in New York City. Carina has also published in pharmacy journals and works as a consultant reviewing medical articles for publication.
The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
12 Prescription and Over-The-Counter Skin Care Products Dermatologists Love
Whether you are looking to reduce signs of aging, clear up maskne, or need help with dark spots, there is no shortage of fantastic products.
By Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD
Can I Give My Dog Doxycycline?
Dogs are often treated for bacterial infections with the same medication used for humans, such as doxycycline.
By Jennifer Hadley
11 Affordable STD Medications Available Now
RxSaver coupons help to afford common STD and STI medications.
By Jennifer Hadley