A growing number of prescription medications can have serious, sometimes deadly, side effects when mixed with grapefruit, according to a study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Medical News Today (MNT) reports that researchers found more than 85 medications that may have some type of interaction with grapefruit, and that the number of drugs that could cause a dangerous reaction when paired with grapefruit has climbed from 17 to 43 in the past four years.
The report also suggests that health professionals and patients are often unaware of the possible side effects.
MNT explains that furanocoumarins found in grapefruit inhibit the body's CYP3A4 metabolizing enzyme from properly breaking down medications. As a result, more of the drug winds up in the bloodstream, and toxic drug levels or overdose can occur, resulting in:
- respiratory failure
- gastrointestinal bleeding
- bone marrow suppression in patients with weak immune systems
- renal toxicity
- acute kidney failure
- sudden death
ABC News says that as little as "one grapefruit or one 8-ounce glass of grapefruit juice can cause an effect that may last more than 24 hours," and reports the following A-Z partial list of medications believed to interact with grapefruit:
The Mayo Clinic also posts a partial list organized by drug type:
Anti-arrhythmia Amiodarone (Cordarone)
Antidepressant Sertraline (Zoloft)
Antihistamine Fexofenadine (Allegra)
Anti-retroviral Saquinavir (Invirase), indinavir (Crixivan)
Anti-seizure Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol)
Calcium channel blocker Nifedipine (Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular)
Immunosuppressant Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune)
Statin Simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor)