Concerns About Grapefruit Juice

Posted at: 11/27/2012 5:15 PM
Updated at: 11/28/2012 2:36 PM

The adverse effects of mixing grapefruit juice with prescription drugs was discovered more than 20 years ago, and now those same Canadian researchers who made that discovery report the list of drugs is growing. ABC's Dr. Timothy Johnson has more.

There are now more than 85 oral prescription medications that may interact with grapefruit juice.

Half of them can have serious adverse effects such as kidney damage, blood clots, and even death.

In a review published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers say that between 2008 and 2012, on average more than 6 new drugs were added each year.

Many of those drugs are for treating common conditions such as Lipitor to lower cholesterol or Prozac for depression.

Grapefruit interferes with the body's ability to break down the drug, increasing its potency, even when the fruit is consumed hours before the medication.

The review says people over 45 are most vulnerable to these negative interactions. They purchase the most grapefruit and receive the most prescriptions. Older adults have more difficulty tolerating higher than intended doses of prescription drugs.

To avoid complications, take meds with water, not grapefruit and other citrus fruits.