Can you eat grapefruit when taking ezetimibe?

In this article we are going to answer the question: can you eat grapefruit when taking ezetimibe, what is grapefruit, how does ezetimibe work, and what happens if you eat grapefruit when taking ezetimibe. 

Can you eat grapefruit when taking ezetimibe?

No, you should not eat grapefruit nor drink grapefruit juice when taking ezetimibe. Grapefruit contains substances that interfere with the ability of your body to metabolize Ezetimibe. 

When you eat or drink grapefruit, the levels of Ezetimibe rise and can increase the risk of side effects. 

What is grapefruit?

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that tastes bitter sweet to sour. It’s a very nutritious fruit with a lot of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C.  The interior is segmented and varies in color from pale yellow to dark pink. 

Raw grapefruit is about 90% water and 8% carbohydrates. Grapefruit contains about 50% more citric acid than orange juice. It is perfect for making grapefruit desserts, juice, and grapefruit jam. 

1 cup, 230 g with juice

%DV
Calories96.6 
CarbohydratesTotal Carbs 24.5 gDietary fiber 3.7 gSugars 15.8 g
Fats0.3 g
Protein 1.8 g 
Vitamin A2645 UI53%
Vitamin C71.8 mg120%
Folate29.9 g7%

What is Ezetimibe and how does it work?

Ezetimibe is an FDA-approved prescription drug that is used to treat some types of high cholesterol. Ezetimibe is the generic name for Zetia, the brand-name drug. 

The generic drug usually costs less than the brand-name drug but they have the same quantity and quality of medication. They are just not available in the same strength or form as the brand-name drug.

In addition to a low cholesterol diet. It works by inhibiting your small intestine from absorbing cholesterol. This reduces cholesterol levels in your liver and blood. It treats:

  • Primary Hyperlipidemia
  • Mixed hyperlipidemia
  • Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH)
  • Homozygous sitosterolemia

Primary Hyperlipidemia 

Is a genetic condition where you can clear or eliminate cholesterol naturally from your body. There is a mutation in the genes that control how cholesterol is eliminated. 

Mixed hyperlipidemia 

Is a genetic condition where your body can’t correctly eliminate cholesterol and triglycerides. It is a genetic mutation in the genes that eliminate cholesterol and triglycerides.

HoFH

Is a genetic condition that affects the genes that control how the body eliminates cholesterol. 

Homozygous sitosterolemia

Is a genetic condition caused by a mutation in the genes that control how your body eliminates plant sterols. 

This medication, Ezetimibe, should not be taken if you have liver problems or severe muscle problems like weakness or pain. This drug can exacerbate the problems that you already have. 

Ezetimibe has interactions with blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering drugs, rheumatoid arthritis medications, and organ transplant drugs.

Symptoms of allergy to the medication are swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing or swallowing, skin rash, and hives. If you have any of these symptoms, look for medical help. 

What happens if you eat grapefruit when taking Ezetimibe?

Grapefruit has a chemical that interferes with the ability of your body to break down or metabolize Ezetimibe. When you eat or drink grapefruit, Ezetimibe levels in the blood go up and side effects can occur. It is rare to have severe side effects but you better watch your grapefruit intake. 

What are Ezetimibe’s side effects?

Ezetimibe, like all medications, has side effects that can be worsened by grapefruit. The main side effects you can present if taking ezetimibe is drowsiness and unexplained muscle pain in your shoulder, thighs, or lower back. More side effects are

BloatingChillsConstipationDarkened Urine
Fast HeartbeatFeverHives, itching, shin rashIndigestion
Joint painLoss of appetiteNauseaPain in the stomach or abdomen
StiffnessStomach fullnessVomitingYellow eyes or skin
Tightness in the chestTrouble breathing or swallowing 

Here is a link for more information about Ezetimibe.

Where can I find grapefruit?

First, as the fruit itself or as grapefruit juice. In a study, it was found that 23 drinks had grapefruit juice without having it written on its label. So, be careful with those citrus juices you take. 

Grapefruit is also used as a dessert or to make jam. If you want to eat other fruit with vitamin C to substitute grapefruit you can go for oranges, mango, peach, pineapple, lemon juice, lime, berries, strawberries, or mandarine. 

Other FAQs about Grapefruit that you may be interested in.

Can you eat grapefruit when taking Eliquis?

Can you eat grapefruit when taking azithromycin?

How to eat grapefruit?

Conclusion

In this article we answered the question: can you eat grapefruit when taking ezetimibe, what is grapefruit, how does ezetimibe work, and what happens if you eat grapefruit when taking ezetimibe. 

Citation

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/zetia

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.