Taking Medicines

Frequently Asked Questions

19. What is the "grapefruit juice effect?"

Taking certain medications with a glass of grapefruit juice can lead to higher levels of medicine in the blood, which can cause health problems. That’s because a substance in grapefruit blunts the effects of an enzyme that processes many types of drugs, including many of those used to treat insomnia, depression, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart conditions.

Ask your doctor and/or pharmacist whether you need to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking any of your medicines. The prescription label on your medicines should also include information about whether to avoid grapefruit.