You Shouldn't Drink Grapefruit Juice If You're Taking These Medications

Grapefruit juice is a delicious beverage that can be incorporated into a healthy and well-balanced diet. It's a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and other important vitamins and minerals. However, drinking it can interfere with a number of common medications (via Best Life). In fact, grapefruit juice can actually change how medications enter your bloodstream and stay in your body. That's because grapefruits and grapefruit juice can inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme in your small intestine, which can make some medications either more potent or less effective.

"Medications staying in your blood for longer can increase the risk of serious side effects," Jessica Nouhavandi, the lead pharmacist and co-founder of Honeybee Health, told Best Life. "It can also lead to the opposite, where not enough of a drug enters the blood, preventing the drug from working." This can be quite dangerous depending on the type of drug and the amount of grapefruit juice that is ingested.

Medications that interact with grapefruit juice

While grapefruit juice doesn't interact with every medication, it's important to know which ones are affected, especially if you're used to drinking grapefruit juice on a regular basis (via Verywell Health). Although grapefruit juice only interferes with drugs that rely on the CYP3A4 enzyme, there are at least 50 common medications that are affected by this interaction. Grapefruit juice can interfere with a range of drugs, including ones that treat depression, allergies, anxiety, high blood pressure, asthma, blood clots, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, and cancer.

Drinking grapefruit juice while taking these types of medications can cause some pretty serious side effects. While the severity of these effects can vary depending on your age, medication, and the amount of grapefruit juice you consume, some common side effects include dizziness, sedation, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, arrhythmia, stomach bleeding, and kidney damage (via If you're unsure if the medication you're taking interacts with grapefruit juice, talk to your healthcare provider and read the warning label on your prescription bottle.