Carolyn L. Braun (carolynlbraun.com)

It cant’ be true … I just want some grapefruit.

Tart, the elusive grapefruit

For the past two months, I have been craving fresh grapefruit. I have no idea why. I haven’t had any in at least twenty years – or more. I find myself thinking about it often – cutting it in half, loosening each segment, adding sugar, then that first juicy bite …

But I haven’t let myself have any. Years ago, some doctor – obviously an evil doctor — told me that I shouldn’t eat grapefruit because it would react with my medications. I’m sure I’ve added a few pills since then. After all this time, however, I’m thinking that they have changed their mind – ‘they‘ being the people who tell you butter is bad for you, and then they tell you that butter is good for you. Or – that eggs are bad for you but then they are good for you. Given all my medications, however, I decided to do a little research before I headed to the store.

It didn’t take long. I pulled up Google and typed in “side effects of eating grapefruit.” My hopes were dashed in a flash. The page was full of information.

Here’s a few drugs that interact poorly with grapefruit.

  • Statin drugs – used to lower cholesteral.
    • Grapefruit blocks the action of the enzymes, increasing the amount of the drug in your system.  I take a atorvistatin.
  • Fexofenadine – used for allergies.
    • Grapefruit reduces the amount of the drug in your system – so the drug may not be effective. I take fexofenadine (Allegra).
  • Blood pressure medications to reduce blood pressure. I take Losartan (Cozaar).
    • Eating grapefruit and taking this drug can result in a rapid drop in blood pressure. Eating grapefruit may also limit the potential of this drug to control blood pressure.
  • Blood thinners. I take Clopidogral (Plavix), one of the more common blood thinners. The newer version, Brilinta, also should not be mixed with grapefruit.
    • Eating grapefruit and taking these drugs can lower the activation of the drug and result in less effective prevention of blood clots.

Not only will grapefruit affect the drugs, it can last one to three days in your system and can have serious effects. You may want to check your medications. There are many more drugs affected by grapefruit.

And, guess what? There are more fruits that affect drugs. Seville oranges (used to make orange marmalade), tangelos and pomelos act similarly to grapefruit and also should be avoided. I’ve had a few tangelos over the years  … but I won’t be eating them anymore.

It is likely that more of my medications should not be taken with grapefruit – but I already have enough evidence to continue to follow the advice of that doctor long ago. I guess it’s back to eating tomatoes …

And worse, I just read that I should not be eating bananas.

NOTE: This is general information and is not intended to be specific medical advice. You should check your medications on the internet, read the information included with your prescription, and talk to your physician before you change how you use your medications.

Thanks for reading this. I hope you return!

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