If you take certain prescription meds - say, the cholesterol drug Zocor, or the painkiller oxycodone – you’ve probably been told to avoid grapefruit, because it can cause adverse reactions, including acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, gastric bleeding – and even death.
But read the fine print on whatever you’re taking. Because the number of drugs that interact badly with grapefruit are at 85 and counting, with an average of 6 new ones popping up every year.
What’s the deal with grapefruit? It contains chemicals that can prevent drugs from breaking down in the body. So, you end up with unexpectedly high levels of meds in your bloodstream. In some cases, it’s like patients are taking 10 times too much!
And it’s not just grapefruit that’s a danger. The same chemicals appear in other citrus, including limes, pomelos, and even the Seville oranges used in most marmalades. The good news, experts say that sweet oranges like navel and Valencia don’t contain the enzyme, and are safe to eat.
If you take prescription drugs, talk to your doctor about possible interactions. They can often prescribe a different drug that doesn’t interact with grapefruit.