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Why Shouldn't You Take Medicine with Grapefruit Juice?

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If you’ve taken prescription medication, have you ever noticed the strange disclaimer, "don't take with grapefruit juice"? There is a very good reason for that! Hank Green explains in this episode of SciShow Quick Questions! Hosted by: Hank Green ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters -- we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Justin Ove, Justin Lentz, David Campos, Chris Peters, Philippe von Bergen, Fatima Iqbal, John Murrin, Linnea Boyev, and Kathy & Tim Philip. ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/scishow Or help support us by becoming our patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow Sources: http://www.dictiome.com/en/27682/furanocoumarins-pronunciation-Aussprache-prononciation-%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%88%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B5-pronunciaci%C3%B3n [pronunciation] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/5/1097.long http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM292839.pdf http://www.health.harvard.edu/family_health_guide/grapefruit-and-medication-a-cautionary-note http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/clinical-trials/phases-clinical-trials
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Text Comments (1278)
pennypay1 (13 days ago)
I was told about this when I went on MMT. Grapefruit juice would likely render my methadone dose too strong, and my body would use it up too quickly. The intention is for a dose to last 24 hours on average, because unlike insulin, you can't take additional methadone if you start to feel low (from withdrawal symptoms). The drug is extremely powerful, and you don't want to mess with potentiating the 'high', or take contraindicated drugs with it.
Madi Jerominek (20 days ago)
I would love an episode on why it's called grapefruit (and other misnomers), even though it's not made from grapes...
Madi Jerominek (20 days ago)
I'd bet $20 someone read that label and thought they could still eat grapefruit because you're not technically drinking it.
Jascha Bull (2 months ago)
Is it known why grapefruits have a particularly large amount of furanocoumarin inside them?
JAMES PURKS (3 months ago)
That is really only half the answer. The other half is grapefruit juice also deactivates an enzyme in the liver which creates similar problems.
Anomaly88man (3 months ago)
People say grapefruit juice intensifies dextromethorphan dissociation. So, that must be true for any enjoyable drugs like opiates stronger too!
mannacler (3 months ago)
I like grapefruit juice more than I like orange juice.
Frost Night (4 months ago)
Time to take 60mg Prozac and 60mg Adderall with a big ol' gallon of grapefruit juice Thanks for the tips Hank
Travis (4 months ago)
So that's why there have grapefruits everywhere in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", in the car, at the hotel... eheheh
Newer Account (5 months ago)
My dr tells me to drink 3 glasses with my suboxone
yuuue (5 months ago)
The shade against grape fruit juice lovers is real
dymon beats (5 months ago)
This works with weed lol
Sierra White (6 months ago)
If we can spend the money to do a federal study on female pig orgasms (and yes, they apparently do have them), we can figure out safe doses for people that like a glass of grapefruit juice in the morning. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!
MWB Gaming (6 months ago)
i could see some people taking their meds with grapefruit juice and lowering the dosage to save money lmao
Dominique D (6 months ago)
What about grapefruit seed extract in pill form?
Phaux Redtail (6 months ago)
Also the same stuff, also known as bergamottin, is found in Earl Grey tea. Guess how I learned that x.x
Jim The EDC Guy (6 months ago)
All the opiate users know this trick lol.
Acme Fixer (7 months ago)
They ought to sell "decaffeinated" grapefruit juice!
Reid Skull (7 months ago)
Because grapefruit is disgusting
Staliy TV (7 months ago)
i need to do this.
Drink grapefruit juice at a bar then you can't get druged
superapple4ever (7 months ago)
I wonder if this applies to grapefruit and Adderall.
trash can (7 months ago)
actually, my mom did this. I can't remember if it was orange juice or grapefruit juice but she drank some with some medicine while she was pregnant with my sister. She ended up hydropumping vomit everywhere. Not a good idea.
Vinny C (7 months ago)
gonna drink a whole cup of grape juice when I next try any oral recreational drug
Yasser (7 months ago)
Who likes grapefruits anyway !
Dead Inside (7 months ago)
does this mean if someone over dose u can just drink grapefruit juice?
Cyber Depressio (7 months ago)
Weed and grapefruit ?
What I learned from this is to add grapefruit zest when I roll a joint, and possibly a few drops in my coffee.
Michael Skinner (7 months ago)
I'm so glad I don't take anything. I LOVE grapefruit👌 My parents.... not so much
Karis Coyne (7 months ago)
The other fun thing about this is that mixing grapefruit juice and alcohol makes you like 10x drunker than you would ordinarily get. Source: Horrifying personal experience.
Veelsaaf29 (7 months ago)
Pop half a xanny wih grapefruit juice
ceejay1992 (7 months ago)
Unless you're taking opiates. Then grapefruit yourself to feel better.
IntarwebUser (7 months ago)
Yo man, don't be dissing grapefruit juice. That stuff is the bomb. I loves me ALL the citrus fruits, not just one or two of them.
tyree Jackson (7 months ago)
I have kidney tranplant they told me tht
NovaMG (7 months ago)
Soooo... why don't they just give you an amount to grapefruit juice to drink with the medicine, change the dose to be less. Wouldn't this make medicine less expensive?
sophie m (7 months ago)
So how does grapefruit juice/ fruit interact with vitamins and minerals or food in general??
Lewis Johnson (7 months ago)
I like grapefruit juice. Eating grapefruits and oranges however is very unpleasant—terrible texture
F De Mascio (7 months ago)
I learned this the hard way when taking anti-siezure meds after a TBI & month long coma nap. Seized up like steel hardware in the Pacific ocean.
Judith Walker (7 months ago)
Ok. Drinking 8oz of grapefruit juice before your meal is supposed to benefit weight loss. In some way besides traumatized taste buds! So, whats up with that and how does it relate?
super koksu (8 months ago)
let's imagine that someone has a terible earache and has to take painkillers to be even able to sleep, can you drink grapefruit juice to decrease the amount fo drugs taken ?
Dougie Quick (8 months ago)
I actually DID try grape fruit juice to potentiate my opiates ...honestly? IF it did at all? I certainly could never swear to it ....though I tried it for weeks...pretty hard to verify from non measured trial and error ...seems like it was more placebo than anything ...I was frustrated they did not give me enough opiates when I was on a chemo like drug regimen trying to cure my HCV ...I also hoped the grapefruit juice would potentiate the antivirals I was taking ...apparently did not do THAT very well either as the HCV broke right back through....wasted effort being sick as a dog for a year AND choking down nasty grapefruit juice ....yet there ARE certain drugs that are PROVEN to be potentiated by GF juice so LISTEN to pharmacy warnings IF that applies to whatever drug you are on! People have apparently fricken DIED via GF juice1
tankofnova (8 months ago)
Why not just take less of the drug than normal to counter grapefruit juice blockage? Less needed meds= less money spent on needed meds...=less profit for doctors so no one says this because greed.
Sazy Plew (8 months ago)
Sounds like a great way to take less medication, which seems like it would be a good thing, for individuals’ health and purse/wallet, in the long run and it’d all be accomplished with a simple math equation ...hmm, but pharmaceutical companies would profit less!
Kiki Love (8 months ago)
What about eating a whole grapefruit? Is that equivalent to one glass of grapefruit juice?
Elouj Time Reaver (8 months ago)
Orange juice literally tastes like garbage.
Freddie Ellis (8 months ago)
Why you shouldn’t take grapefruit juice.... It’s gross!
lol I used to drink grapefruit juice while binging on adderall. worked like a charm
Chaos Tempo (9 months ago)
Xanax & grapefruit juice....YAY
uyiiko (9 months ago)
Grapefruit tastes bad anyway.
Nolan Westrich (9 months ago)
What if you put that grapefruit chemical into the drug so you'd need less of the active ingredient? Bonus: taking the medication with grapefruit juice would have no effect.
Tenzin Gaga (9 months ago)
Orange>Grapefruit in any form. I don't care.
Joseph Salomone (9 months ago)
I always drink greyhounds with all my medication.
Eric Taylor (9 months ago)
Then why not add these enzymes to the medication, so they can use less active ingredient?
Dj (9 months ago)
Warning labels are for pussies
Furyflame2 (9 months ago)
I don't even like grapefruit.
Nicolas Gleason-Boure (9 months ago)
I don't have to worry about this warning, because grapefruit is disgusting
Ubeogesh (9 months ago)
Can I eat whole grapefruits tho?
Drævn Ëvans (10 months ago)
My choice if citrus fruit juice 1)Lime 2)Grapefruit 3)Lemon 4)Orange Disliked because of muh feels for gurpfr00t
Truther Asitis (10 months ago)
Patrick Zayco (11 months ago)
What if we replace blood pressure medication with grapefruit?????
TheReaverOfDarkness (11 months ago)
Great video, but you got one fact incorrect: grapefruit juice actually tastes better than orange juice.
dfsdfd sfsdfsdf (11 months ago)
i was a FAN! until you said orange juice tastes much better... how dare you. how daRE YOU!!!!
Deluxe Edition (11 months ago)
who in their right mind drinks straight up grapefruit juice in the first place
Laihsun Chan (11 months ago)
So if I am on budget, half a pills with 2 glass of grapefruit juice?
Sue Mead (11 months ago)
In addition, do not drink Earl Grey Tea when on these medications. The enzyme in it, bermamotin also occurs in grapefruit, bergamot orange (duh), bitter marmalade and several other types of citrus fruit. Some mandarins (but not all) have it as well. I know this because I kept having massive problems after drinking earl grey tea, to the point of ending up in the emergency room. Oddly, it made my blood pressure go really high and at that point I wasn't on blood pressure meds, so whatever you decide, or if you are on blood pressure meds, skip the earl grey and all other products with that produce or contain bergamot.
Craig Mooring (11 months ago)
Orange juice tastes better? Hardly! It tastes different. Not nearly so sweet, which makes it a far superior breakfast, waker-upper juice. You did not even show real grapefruit, anyway; you showed the wussy sweet red grapefruit that o.j. whipped wimps drink because they can't take the good stuff. ;^)
A l l e g e d l y TM (11 months ago)
Grapefruits are great for keeping estradiol valerate doses high in the body for transsexuals who need more potent effects of estrogen while forced to take subpar doses.
Lorenzo vanLeeuwen (11 months ago)
Hank does not like grapefruit juice. lol
octet33 (11 months ago)
So why not just add grapefruit furancoumarin to the meds? Less meds needed, same effect, everyone wins right?
bitsnpieces11 (11 months ago)
Tree ripened grapefruit are sweet, most of the ones you get in the grocery store are picked when they are about mostly ripe(yellow) and allowed to go fully yellow in storage.  I love good tree ripened grapefruit and their juice.  Unfortunately because of medication issues I can't eat it.  I have had treeripened oranges which you would swear someone had infused with a lot of honey, they were so sweet.
A Unicorn (11 months ago)
i hate orange juice and orange flavored things grapefruit over it any day { accept when i am on medicine }
goose121 (1 year ago)
So why don't they put furanocoumarin in the medication to lower the effective dose and make drug production cheaper?
TravistheHuman (1 year ago)
If we mix orange and lemon we might get the sweet and sour of grapefruit. We will need to add hops. lol
Greedy Baron (1 year ago)
the way he said ''coming'' at the end of the show. lol
Alissa Zambelli (1 year ago)
I suffer from anxiety (under control usually, so I don't take medications) (also American medication scare the crap out of me from personal experience) and from all the ads warning about grapefruit I link the fruit now to some sort of anxiety​/depression response and I avoid it like the pest lol I need to know I can consume grapefruit even tho I do have anxiety.
Krylon 36200 (1 year ago)
Do a quick google search on whatever medication you're prescribed and see if it has interactions with grapefruit juice.
Matt Alexander (1 year ago)
pharmaceutical companies have commercials....?!?! not here in Australia lol
Big Spoop (1 year ago)
you mean that I could technically not pay as much money if I just take half a specific type of pill if I take some specific amount of grapefruit juice.
Krylon 36200 (1 year ago)
Google is your friend :) Try searching for your medication and its interactions with grapefruit juice, but make sure that you know the effects of whatever you're taking without grapefruit juice first. It is VERY easy to take too much grapefruit juice with too much medicine and end up not remembering the past 3 days.
YungHeroin (1 year ago)
i don't drink grapefruit juice when i take medicine i take water
Michal Šikula (1 year ago)
"...which tastes much better anyway." I love this guy.
justin johns (1 year ago)
it's only narcotics that this happens with that you would notice
Denis Mustic (1 year ago)
Domantas Butvilas (1 year ago)
A question arises, why do we think, that medication heals our body, when our body itself does all it can to prevent them from getting into the system? Maybe an epsode on drugs, their composition and the mechanics of their influence on human organism would clear this out a bit.
Thomas Martinez (1 year ago)
so if you can a Xanax with grapefruit juice you'll feel it more even if u don't have any more medication problems lbs
voiceofaliens (1 year ago)
What's that faint squeaky wheel sound I hear throughout all your videos? Occasionally I hear higher pitched beeps like it might be an actual _sciency_ soundtrack, but my old ears can't pick it up completely.
Gregor McIntosh (1 year ago)
When you are telling your dad about this because you know he has high blood pressure and you find out it was actually him that discovered it XD
J Mik (1 year ago)
Grapefruit cures high blood pressure. Thats why they say dont take it with hbp pills. God knew what He was doing when He gave us this fruit. doctors will never tell you that because it would put pharmaceutical companies out of business. so they just tell you don't eat grapefruit while taking his medication because of other reasons but the real reason is because they already know that grapefruit cures high blood pressure so if you take grapefruit along with the high blood pressure pills you're doubling the work on your high blood pressure which would drop it to an unsafe level. In their warning telling you to not eat grapefruit while taking this pill they were actually telling you that grapefruit has the same effect as taking this pill but most people are not able to catch this.
Nay ye foul beast! (1 year ago)
I love me some Squirt Soda, the best grapefruit soda ever
Le Stop that man (1 year ago)
Hank, don't you dare talk shit about my juicefu
Hilohaole 400 (1 year ago)
That means the xanax will be more effective if I drink the grapefruit
nasr aldeen (1 year ago)
Now my fridge stay stocked with dirty GF juice 😄😄
This guy (1 year ago)
"The normal one" The popular one.
elixxarose (1 year ago)
Here in NZ we have this warning on contraceptive pill packets but I've not seen it on any other medication packets yet.
erikk77 (1 year ago)
wait will i be more fucked up or nah?
Zandandido (1 year ago)
Your liver definitely will.
George Oke (1 year ago)
Why are there grapefruits around my anus
scitechian (1 year ago)
I think they make a cream for that.
Sarah Smith (1 year ago)
*Currently eating grapefruit*
Logan VanderWier (1 year ago)
Is Hank secretly supported by the anti-grapefruit confederation?
Michael Miller (1 year ago)
I prefer the taste of grapefruit juice over the taste of orange juice.
john doe (1 year ago)
taking white grapefruit juice is a tried and true method of potentiating opiates and a handful of other drugs, yes dosages have to be adjusted but its not like your crossing the beams lmao
mwwhited (1 year ago)
You are wrong Hank... Grapefruit juice tastes much better than orange juice.

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