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A Combination Of Grapefruit And Prescription Medication May Be A Deadly Mix

By Dr. Michael Pritsker, DC

Drinking grapefruit juice and eating grapefruit can be deadly for people who take certain medications, according to a paper. Taking certain prescription medications and eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may be dangerous. There is a story that shocked and surprised me. I bet it will shock and surprise many others too. This is surprising because in this story, a retired gentleman spends his winters in the south as many people do. This is what natives call a snowbird. 2 months after coming to warm Florida, this retiree dropped dead right where he stood. Physicians believe the cause was a fatal interaction between the 2 to 3 glasses of fresh grapefruit juice he drank every day and the medication that he took also. In this particular case, the deadly interaction is believed to be between the grapefruit and Lipitor.

The victim had high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. For this, doctors put him on Lipitor and he began a diet and exercise program. Two weeks after going to Florida for the winter, he went to the emergency room complaining of muscle pains, fatigue and fever. That’s where he went into kidney failure and died. Although experts know the problem exists, most laymen and health care professionals are still in the dark about the deadly risks, even though the FDA requires all prospective new drugs to be tested for interactions with grapefruit juice, and a warning about grapefruit juice is included in the “food-drug interactions” that come with dozens of medications.

Since grapefruit juice is metabolized by the same enzyme in the liver that breaks down many drugs, it is one of the foods most likely to cause problems with drugs. When the system is overloaded, scientists said the grapefruit juice can “swamp” the system, keeping the liver from doing its complete job and blocking it from breaking down drugs and other substances.

The most severe effects, scientists say, are likely with some statins. While the liver devotes its resources to grapefruit juice, the medication can build up to dangerous levels, causing a breakdown of the body’s muscles and even kidney failure.

So here is a tip. If you are taking any prescription medication especially when it comes to statin drugs, be sure to ask your primary doctor about the possible interactions with grapefruit juice. You should also read the warning labels on your medication bottle. Even though there may be a lot of fine print in these labels, it could make the difference between life and death.

Why do you think there is so much fine print in the first place on these labels? This is because all drugs can have toxic side effects. That is not to say they don’t save lives and are not needed in many situations. Clearly they do and are important. But the goal of real health should be to have your body work properly without drugs, or at least with as little drugs as humanly possible. How is that? Through proper diet, exercise, stress management and regular chiropractic care. I once read a quote from a famous NFL coach. His name is Jimmy Johnson. He said something like the following: There are more things that can go bad with a passing play, than a running play. That’s why when in doubt run the ball. I have the same philosophy with health and wellness. If at all possible, do it naturally when you can.

Learn more about medicine. Stop by Dr. Michael Pritsker, DC’s site where you can find out all about chiropractic and what it can do for you.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
DC, Dr. M. P. "A Combination Of Grapefruit And Prescription Medication May Be A Deadly Mix." A Combination Of Grapefruit And Prescription Medication May Be A Deadly Mix. 26 Jun. 2010. 11 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
DC, D (2010, June 26). A Combination Of Grapefruit And Prescription Medication May Be A Deadly Mix. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
DC, Dr. M. P. "A Combination Of Grapefruit And Prescription Medication May Be A Deadly Mix"

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