Celebrity Foods Warning on Grape Juice and Drugs

Don’t Mix Grapefruit Juice and Some
Prescription Drugs

Your doctor may have warned you to avoid grapefruit juice if you’re taking statin drugs like Lipitor or Zocor, or blood thinners such as Warfarin or any of several prescription drugs, including some antibiotics. Why? Grapefruit juice contains furanocoumarins, although most other citrus juices contain none or very little of these compounds. Furanocoumarins inhibit an important enzyme, CYP3A4, which helps in metabolizing almost 50% of all prescription drugs.Persons who drink grapefruit juice while on certain medications may be unable to eliminate the drugs from their system efficiently. The drugs could remain concentrated in the bloodstream for longer than expected and create the potential for dangerous and potentially fatal overdoses. Researchers at the University of North Carolina have confirmed that furanocoumarins in grapefruit juice inhibit the metabolism of certain drugs. Their findings were published in the May 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you’re taking medication, ask your doctor whether you can safely drink grapefruit juice.

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