Home > 📚 Informational > What Happens If You Mix Grapefruit Juice and Viagra?

What Happens If You Mix Grapefruit Juice and Viagra?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice benefits the immune system. It also promotes appetite control, improves heart health, and offers so much more that it earned the Heart-Check mark from the American Heart Association. On the dark side, grapefruit and its juice can interact with so many medications in ways that can be harmful. While the exact substance from its hundreds of chemical components responsible for this effect is not known, one is a prime. In this article, you will learn about it, and how it affects Viagra’s therapy.

What Happens If You Mix Grapefruit Juice and Viagra

How Does Grapefruit Interact with Medications?

Grapefruit is an interesting food with lots of benefits. And though it serves a semi-sweet addition to breakfast on a fine morning it can cause a lot of troubles for people medicating. One research group from Canada discovered that it currently interacts with a little over 85 drugs, most of which are essential and commonly prescribed for the treatment of day-to-day medical conditions. Furthermore, as pointed out by the same team of researchers, recent trends reveal that about 6 out of all the drugs created every year have the potential to interact with grapefruit negatively [1].

While all these don’t change the fact that grapefruits are beneficial, individuals who take them should be aware of the adverse reactions they can cause when mixed with certain drugs like Viagra. But how does a grapefruit-drug interaction take place?

Besides vitamin C, grapefruit juice contains hundreds of chemicals that are beneficial. However, one of them – furanocoumarin – interacts negatively with certain drugs. It does so by exponentially boosting the concentration of the drug in the blood.

Grapefruit

How does it really do this? Actually, about 50% of drugs get metabolized in the liver and small intestine by an enzyme called CYP3A4. During the breakdown process, only the amount of drug necessary for its efficacy passes into the bloodstream, while the rest gets expelled from the body [2] [3].

If grapefruit is taken alongside such meds like Viagra that are metabolized in the intestine, furanocoumarin – its infamous chemical substance – binds to CYP3A4, thus, preventing the absorption of the drug. As a result, larger amounts will pass into the bloodstream, raising the drug-blood concentration to abnormally high levels.

In a nutshell, furanocoumarin raises the concentrations of certain drugs in the blood, which, in turn, increases the risks of side effects. It is worth noting that grapefruit does not interact with the medications directly, but with the enzyme meant to control their absorption.

Any Side Effects from Taking Viagra with Grapefruit Juice?

Certain side effects may result from taking Viagra with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. One thing that can possibly go wrong is a serious drop in blood pressure, and this can be very dangerous. Symptoms such as dizziness, lack of concentration, and blurry vision may be experienced when this happens, and if no medical care is given, things might get out of hand [4] [5].

Furthermore, while combing both substances together might not cause any different adverse reactions from what Viagra may cause on its own, they can get worse. For example, common possible side effects of Viagra which include headache, flushing, dizziness, and nausea, may become more severe and even last longer.

Side Effects of Pills

Also, large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice can delay Viagra’s time of action, leading to unnecessary disappointments during times of sexual activity. This can cause certain individuals to overdose on the drug and the results thereof might be fatal [6].

In summary, grapefruit juice and Viagra, as well as other medications, should never be mixed for erectile dysfunction. Even very little amounts can interact with Viagra and there is no telling how severe the repercussions will be. It is advisable to consult a doctor should an increase in side effects from this drug be noticed.

References:

  1. Grapefruit–Medication Interactions: Forbidden Fruit or Avoidable Consequences? By David G. Bailey, George Dresser, et al. Retrieved: April 18, 2020. Cmaj.ca.
  2. Grapefruit and Medication: A Cautionary Note. Retrieved: April 18, 2020. Health.harvard.edu.
  3. Why Can’t You Eat Grapefruit Whilst Taking Viagra? By Libby Mayfield. Retrieved: April 18, 2020. Geteddie.co.uk.
  4. Low Blood Pressure – When Blood Pressure Is Too Low. Retrieved: April 18, 2020. Heart.org.
  5. Low Blood Pressure (hypotension). By Mayo Clinic staff. Retrieved: April 18, 2020. Mayoclinic.org.
  6. Viagra (sildenafil) and Alcohol / Food Interactions. Retrieved: April 18, 2020. Drugs.com.