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Medications to Avoid When Eating Grapefruit

Grapefruit juice or grapefruits themselves can be healthy snacks. According to the Mayo Clinic, grapefruits contain nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium and lycopene. Although thought to be safe, grapefruits can interact with certain medications. The chemicals in grapefruit juice and pulp can interfere with drug breakdown in the digestive system 1. Unfortunately, this can lead to increased amounts of the drug in the bloodstream. A few medications should be avoided when eating grapefruit 1.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Fexofenadine

Fexofenadine belongs to a set of drugs called antihistamines 2. It interferes with histamine, a substance in the body that causes sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Specifically, fexofenadine treats seasonal allergies and hives.

Fexofenadine's side effects include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, a headache and drowsiness. Back or muscle pain, fatigue and menstrual cramps are additional fexofenadine side effects, according to Drugs.com 2.

Fexofenadine's absorption can be decreased when taking antacid medications and drinking fruit juices, such as apple, orange or grapefruit juice, according to Drugs.com 12. Antacids must be taken 15 minutes before or after taking fexofenadine for the same reason.

Fexofenadine may interact with such medications as ketoconazole or erythromycin. Its effect may be decreased or the aforementioned side effects may occur.

Amiodarone

Amiodarone's side effects include:

  • nausea
  • strange skin sensations
  • a headache
  • vomiting
  • a poor appetite
  • a headache
  • dry eyes

Sometimes amiodarone may cause chest pain, nervousness, dizziness, wheezing and a worsened heartbeat.

Buspirone

Buspirone is a medication used to treat anxiety. Unfortunately, eating a grapefruit while taking buspirone can decrease its effectiveness. MedlinePlus says that buspirone's side effects include:

  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • trouble breathing
  • fatigue
  • nervousness
  • weakness
  • numbness
  • dry mouth
  • stomach problems

Buspirone also causes light-headedness, dizziness, depression and excitement. In some instances, buspirone causes itching, a skin rash, blurry vision and a fast or irregular heartbeat.

The Wrap Up

Grapefruit juice or grapefruits themselves can be healthy snacks. A few medications should be avoided when eating grapefruit. Fexofenadine's absorption can be decreased when taking antacid medications and drinking fruit juices, such as apple, orange or grapefruit juice, according to Drugs.com2'). Sometimes amiodarone may cause chest pain, nervousness, dizziness, wheezing and a worsened heartbeat. Unfortunately, eating a grapefruit while taking buspirone can decrease its effectiveness.

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