It has long been known that grapefruit juice can pose dangerous, and even deadly risks when taken along with certain medications. Now, experts warn the list of medications that can result in these interactions is longer than many may have believed.
ABC News reports that the list of medications is growing, with many new drugs listed in a report released Monday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal. A report in 2008 identified 17 drugs as potentially dangerous when taken with grapefruit, and this new report says the list has grown to 43.
Grapefruits contain chemicals called furanocoumarins that interfere with how your body breaks down drugs before they enter the bloodstream, according to ABC News. By preventing this normal breakdown of a drug, these chemicals in grapefruit can effectively cause a drug overdose and more severe side-effects.
Among the side effects sometimes seen are heart rhythm problems, kidney failure, muscle breakdown, difficulty with breathing and blood clots. Atorvastatin, commonly known by the brand name Lipitor and taken by millions of Americans, is one of the drugs that have been linked to serious cases of drug toxicity when combined with grapefruit products.
ABC News says the actual number of people affected by grapefruit-connected symptoms is unknown, but that as little as one grapefruit or one 8-ounce glass of grapefruit juice can cause an effect that may last more than 24 hours. Other fruits including Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos can have the same effect, although sweet orange varieties do not produce this interaction.
For consumers, the best advice may be to ask a doctor or pharmacist when they are prescribed a new drug whether there are foods or other medicines that they should avoid.
Here is a full list of the medications that could potentially cause complications when taken with grapefruit, according to ABCNews.com:
Read the full report at http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/11/26/grapefruit-medicine-interaction-warning-expanded/ .
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