24 June 2022

What is the effect of grapefruit on drug action?

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Probably everyone has heard that grapefruit interacts with contraceptive pills. The case is completely different with other pharmaceuticals. Few people realize that eating citrus can negatively affect the treatment of diabetes , high blood pressure or thyroid diseases. Why is this happening and is it possible to somehow avoid it? First of all, it is worth mentioning that grapefruit contains substances that affect the breakdown of drugs. What can eating grapefruits lead to during drug therapy?


Grapefruit and medications 

Many people wonder if the consumed citrus fruit has any effect on the action of pharmaceuticals. The answer to the question is not clear. It all depends on the type of medication you are taking. Grapefruit and Medicines – The list of pharmaceuticals that are affected by the fruit is very long. Starting with birth control pills and ending with antidepressants. Unfortunately, the society’s knowledge of the interactions taking place during treatment is small, so it is worth raising awareness. Especially if there is a risk that even a small change in the action of the medications may cause a deterioration of health. This is the case, for example, with cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.

Eating Grapefruit – Can It Be Dangerous?

grapefruit and lemon

Although grapefruit contains many vitamins and other valuable ingredients, it is not always worth eating. Treatment of some conditions requires medication which, when combined with fruit juice, no longer works properly on the body. One of the most dangerous compounds in grapefruit are furanocoumarins. They are responsible for dangerous interactions with pharmaceuticals. After eating a fruit or drinking a glass of juice, the compound starts to inhibit the action of enzymes responsible for breaking down some medications in the blood. Therefore, consumption of the fruit may lead to an increase in the concentration of previously taken pharmaceuticals. What are the further consequences of a dangerous interaction? Slowing down the metabolism of drugs can cause undesirable reactions in the body. In extreme cases,

Grapefruit and hypertension medications

Much of our society is treated for high blood pressure. Unfortunately, few patients realize that food has a huge impact on the action of pharmaceuticals. Drinking grapefruit juice is especially dangerous while taking medications to regulate blood pressure. Especially those that contain nifedipine, verampil, felodipine or nimodipine in their composition. Why? Compounds in grapefruit block the enzyme responsible for breaking down medications. For this reason, eating the fruit during drug therapy may lead to an increase in blood levels of drugs. What’s more, washing down medications with citrus juice weakens their effect, which causes significant disturbances in the functioning of the entire circulatory system. People who cannot imagine life without fruit, must wait at least 2 days to eat it after taking the last hypertension pill. Elderly people, who are much more likely to interact with each other, should pay special attention to the negative effects of grapefruits. It is worth adding that blocking the action of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of drugs leads to a reduction in the effect of drugs, as well as an increase in their concentration in the blood. Consequently, an improper diet can cause blood pressure to drop too rapidly, contributing to weakness and loss of consciousness. that by blocking the action of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of drugs, the effect of the drugs is weakened and their concentration in the blood increases. Consequently, an improper diet can cause blood pressure to drop too rapidly, contributing to weakness and loss of consciousness. that by blocking the action of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of drugs, the effect of the drugs is weakened and their concentration in the blood increases. Consequently, an improper diet can cause blood pressure to drop too rapidly, contributing to weakness and loss of consciousness.

Eating citrus while using birth control

grapefruit and contraception

Women using oral hormonal contraception should be aware that eating grapefruits can significantly reduce the effects of the pills. Although many people argue that fruit juice does not directly affect the absorption of pills, experts believe that the substances in citrus may reduce their effects on the endocrine system of women. How does it happend? Compounds contained in grapefruit affect the metabolism of drugs. Taking the tablets with juice may make unpleasant symptoms such as nausea worse. As you know, every woman taking the pill should avoid situations that lead to vomiting, which may reduce the absorption of the pill. In addition, citrus is rich in ascorbic acid, which also inhibits the proper functioning of oral contraception.

The effect of the fruit on psychiatric treatment

Anyone who struggles with depression or other psychiatric illnesses knows that antidepressants react with many substances. Therefore, during treatment, you need to pay attention not only to what you eat, but also to what you drink. Above all, people suffering from depression cannot consume alcohol, which causes many of the side effects of pharmacotherapy. Importantly, fruit can also affect the effects of medications. These include, inter alia, currants and grapefruits. The latter affect the activity of proteins necessary for the proper transport of drugs. Consequently, consumption of citrus may lead to ineffective antidepressant absorption. Taking sedation drugs with grapefruit juice will increase the side effects. In extreme cases, eating the fruit provokes a dangerous toxic effect.

Grapefruit and diabetes medications

grapefruit and diabetes medications

Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes affects a large part of our society. Mainly due to a too fast lifestyle and a poorly varied diet. Diabetics must remember that when they are ill, they must not eat many foods. Otherwise, their health may deteriorate rapidly. Interestingly, few patients know that eating grapefruits also causes unpleasant ailments. Some medications for diabetics interact with fruits to make them less effective. Other remedies after eating citrus, on the contrary, begin to work more effectively, leading to too much drop in blood sugar levels. Of course, there are occasional times when diabetes medications do not react at all with grapefruits. Nevertheless, it is better to abandon them during pharmacotherapy. People who like fruit very much,

Grapefruit and thyroid medications

Doctors recommend that each drug be washed down with a large amount of mineral water that does not affect the action of pharmaceuticals in any way. Nevertheless, many people are tempted to drink a carbonated drink or juice while taking medication. Unfortunately, such a procedure is not very responsible and may lead to the impairment of medication. Grapefruit juice inhibits the metabolism of drugs, which increases their concentration in the blood. Eating the fruit during treatment provokes unwanted reactions from the body. Consequently, it is best to avoid eating grapefruits. If someone is keen on citrus juice, they can afford a small amount of the drink, as long as they drink it a few hours after taking the tablets.

Eating Grapefruits – What to Remember?

Due to the fact that the compounds contained in grapefruit may be harmful to pharmacotherapy. When taking medications, you need to pay special attention to what you eat. What should you remember when you want to eat citrus?

  • Dangerous compounds are found not only in fruits, but also in processed grapefruit juice and dietary supplements based on its extracts.
  • Under no circumstances should you take tablets and other pharmaceuticals with citrus juice. Even if we take ordinary painkillers.
  • Many other fruits work in pharmaceuticals in a similar way to grapefruit, such as certain types of oranges.
  • Even a glass of fruit juice can interact with antihypertensive drugs or birth control pills.
  • When it happened that we consumed fruit during pharmacotherapy and started to experience unusual symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor.
  • Grapefruit can also interact with drugs that we take on an ad hoc basis.
  • Small amounts of juice, drunk a few hours after taking the medicine, should not cause any alarming symptoms.
  • The fruit, depending on the type of pharmaceuticals taken, may not only weaken their effects, but also strengthen them.

What fruits can affect the way drugs work?

woman with fruit

Many specialists inform us that grapefruit interacts with medications. Interestingly, not only this fruit affects the effects of medications. For example, in the treatment of depression, it is not recommended to eat apples and currants. Why? These fruits are a huge source of fiber, which reduces the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and elements such as magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. On the other hand, in the case of high blood pressure, doctors forbid eating ripe bananas, raisins and avocados, which react with drugs taken during depression and in the treatment of tuberculosis. Compounds contained in fruits lead to a dynamic increase in blood pressure, which may result in dizziness, vomiting and even heart palpitations. It is also worth remembering that some fruits stimulate the digestive system, thanks to which the drugs are not able to be properly absorbed. To be as safe as possible, each patient should ask their doctor after prescribing whether the pharmaceuticals interact with any fruit and vegetables.

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