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Mixing grapefruit juice and some drugs can be deadly

Canadian scientists have warned that mixing grapefruit juice with certain prescription drugs can be deadly.

Grapefruit 2012 11 26Enlarge
Grapefruit has been linked to prescription drug overdoses. (Getty Images)

Mixing grapefruit juice and some medications can be deadly, Canadian doctors warn.

Dozens of drugs, such as cholesterol and blood pressure medication, can “produce serious adverse reactions” when consumed with grapefruit juice, CBC News reported, citing an article published in today’s issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The article titled “Grapefruit-medication interactions: forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?” says there are 85 drugs that are known to interact with grapefruit.

Of those, 43 can produce “serious side effects” such as sudden death, kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding, CBC News said.

The BBC reported that chemicals in grapefruit, called furanocoumarins, stop medicines being broken down in the intestines and the liver, meaning “much more of the drug escapes the digestive system than the body can handle.”

"One tablet with a glass of grapefruit juice can be like taking five or 10 tablets with a glass of water and people say I don't believe it, but I can show you that scientifically it is sound,” David Bailey, one of the researchers at the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada, told the BBC.

"So you can unintentionally go from a therapeutic level to a toxic level just by consuming grapefruit juice."

People over the age of 45 are most vulnerable, said The Telegraph, because they are the main consumers of grapefruit and take the most prescription drugs.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/121126/grapefruit-drugs