November 27, 2012
For people who take certain medications, eating grapefruit could lead to adverse health events and possibly death.
An article published recently in The Baltimore Sun stated that while the danger of negative medication interactions with eating grapefruits has been a known fact for nearly 20 years, it wasn’t until this past week that researchers announced the number of drugs that interact negatively with the citrus fruit jumped from 17 to 43 over the last four years.
The problem comes when a chemical in the fruit, called Furanocoumarins, bonds to and disables an enzyme in the body that is essential to breaking down certain drugs. With the enzyme unable to metabolize the drug, active ingredients in medications can stay in the body too long. This can lead to patients suffering from drug injuries that could include kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and potentially death.
Medications that could result in these interactions not only include some cholesterol controlling drugs, but now also certain cancer and heart drugs. Experts say ingesting as little as a single piece of fruit or seven ounces of grapefruit juice could be enough to cause a drug injury.
The Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers with ChasenBoscolo urge anyone who is taking a prescription medication to do research as well as consult your doctors as to whether or not a medication you have been given could be affected by the food you eat.