BALTIMORE, Md. - The bottle says 120% Vitamin C. It sounds like the perfect drink during cold and flu season. But before you pick up bottles of grapefruit juice, you better check your pill case.
"On the prescription, yeah, they tell you not to take grapefruit juice when you're taking certain medications," said Bernadette Foster, who is filling her prescription at Union Memorial Hospital.
Foster got the warning, and now a bigger, bolder message comes from Canadian researchers. There are now more than 85 oral prescription medications that could over medicate patients; about 25 have been added in the past four years.
"It helps you absorb more of it, more than you should get. If you're supposed to get 10 a day and you take grapefruit juice then you may get 30 a day," said Dr. Bill Howard, General Surgeon, Union Memorial Hospital Hospital.
Dr. Howard says if you're taking the heart medication Multaq, grapefruit could cause a rapid heart rate. He warns about another popular drug.
"Oxycodone is a drug, painkiller, and it can cause breathing problems with grapefruit juice," said Dr. Howard.
It is left to a doctor or pharmacist to inform patients about the adverse effects. But Dr. Howard says the safest thing to do is your own homework.
"Line up all your medications that have been prescribed. Get on the computer and check your medication against food or product interactions," said Dr. Howard.
The study found even a glass of juice hours before or after taking a pill could still lead to an overdose.
The following list of medications that don’t mix with grapefruit is compiled by abcnews.com.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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