Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you regularly consume grapefruit to ensure that it doesn't interfere with your medications. If you truly love grapefruit and can't do without it, ask your doctor about switching to another statin or lowering your dose. Most doctors will tell you that an occasional serving of juice or fruit will do you no harm. If you have doubts or questions, talk to your doctor about the risks of mixing medications and grapefruit. But if you can't switch, experts say it's probably okay to enjoy a small glass. Another potential problem is that some foods and drinks may contain grapefruit but don't say so in the name or on the ingredients list. No. The problem with furanocoumarins is that they deactivate a kidney enzyme known as cytochrome P4503A4 (CYP3A4), which the body uses to break down certain drugs so that they can be excreted from the body. All rights reserved. Bitter oranges, pomelos, tangelos, and Seville oranges contain high levels of furanocoumarin and should also be avoided. Statin drugs, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, work by blocking the enzyme that your body needs to produce cholesterol. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. The grapefruit effect. To be safe, check with your doctor if you take one of the three statins mentioned above. The no-drug approach to erectile dysfunction, A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health. According to the FDA, grapefruit might also affect your body if you’re taking allergy medication, such as fexofenadine (Allegra). Neurological side effects include confusion and memory loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Why? Keep in mind that both fresh and frozen juices have the same effect. Please note: If you have a promotional code you'll be prompted to enter it prior to confirming your order. Richard N. Fogoros, MD, is a retired professor of medicine and board-certified internal medicine physician and cardiologist. There have been no documented problems with lemons, tangerines, clementines, mandarins, navel oranges, and blood oranges. Statin drugs, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, work by blocking the enzyme that your body needs to produce cholesterol. Statins work by limiting the natural production of cholesterol. Statin Drugs May Not Be Beneficial for Some Older Adults, What to Know Before Starting a Bile Acid Resin to Lower LDL, What You Should Know About Statin Drug Interactions, How Zocor (Simvastatin) Works to Lower Your Cholesterol, Side Effects of Statin Drugs That Can Affect Your Muscles, Side Effects When Patients Switch to Generic High Blood Pressure Drugs, Chemistry and health effects of furanocoumarins in grapefruit, Basic review of the cytochrome p450 system. However, have you heard that you shouldn’t mix grapefruit and certain medications? 2016;129(1):26-9. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.07.036, Cleveland Clinic. More of the drug in your bloodstream can cause certain side effects and affect how well the drug works. How does inflammation increase the risk for heart attacks? The effect remains the same whether you cook the grapefruit or drink frozen or homogenized juice. For this reason, you might avoid the fruit altogether. Do your statins and grapefruit safely mix? Being overweight or having diabetes might require statin use as well. © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. Err on the side of caution and restrict drinking and eating grapefruit if you take one of these statins, at least until you discuss the risks with your doctor. What can we help you find? Grapefruit juice affects certain statins more than others. Statins are a class of drugs that lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels in the body by preventing production in the liver, where the majority of the…, Many medications can be used to treat high blood pressure. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. If you’re prescribed a statin, it’s important to understand which ones can interact negatively with grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Do your statins and grapefruit safely mix? In others, it can interfere with protein transporters in the blood, reducing the concentration and effect of the drug. They also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that’s already present in your artery walls. A number of studies have suggested that side effects like these are uncommon and are mostly associated with a pre-existing kidney, liver, or neurologic condition. chrissy12 22 Mar 2013. The exact amount of grapefruit it takes to have a negative reaction when taking lovastatin, atorvastatin, or simvastatin is unknown. J Food Drug Anal. Neurological symptoms, including confusion and memory loss, Certain anti-arrhythmia drugs, like amiodarone, Certain anti-anxiety drugs, like buspirone, Some antihistamines, like Allegra (fexofenadine), Some hypertension medications, like nifedipine, Some organ transplant rejection drugs, like cyclosporine. For example, you might need to stop taking lovastatin, atorvastatin, or simvastatin, but you might be able to take fluvastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, or rosuvastatin to lower your cholesterol. Play it safe with prescription drugs. They prevent your body from making more cholesterol. Minimal-work, done-in-a-flash recipes can actually feed you well. If you subscribe to any of our print newsletters and have never activated your online account, please activate your account below for online access. The fruit doesn’t affect all statins. This compound deactivates the CYP3A4 enzyme that the body uses to … According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are instance when consuming moderate amounts of grapefruit appear to be safe. At present, no one really knows where the "safe" line is. Pravastatin is metabolized by yet a different mechanism. This is because the interaction happens in your digestive tract. Kurata, M.; Hagiwara, H.; Ohmomo, T. et al. Statins Can Reduce Risk of a Heart Attack for Adults of All Ages, 17 Healthy No-Prep Recipes for the Days When You Just Can’t. Jennifer Moll, MS, PharmD, is a pharmacist actively involved in educating patients about the importance of heart disease prevention.

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