How does grapefruit juice interact with bipolar medications?


How does grapefruit juice interact with bipolar medications?

In: Chemistry

Grapefruit can actually interact with a lot of different kinds of medication.

This is because of how the medication rangers your body/your blood.

Put simply, when you take a pill and it dissolves in your stomach, some of it enters the blood stream, and some of it is metabolized, or broken down. Scientists account for this and make the pills the size they are knowing that only a certain amount of it will make it into the blood stream (where most medications need to go to spread around the body and take effect).

But, grapefruit juice has a special compound that actually blocks the process that metabolizes some of the medicine. As a result, more of it enters your blood, more than what scientists/doctors planned for/expect.

This can be dangerous with some medicines because it’s gives you more than the expected safe dose, or with other medicines it can chase all of it to enter your blood more rapidly, instead of gradually over a longer period of time.

With most drugs that are affected by grapefruit juice, “the juice lets more of the drug enter the blood,” says Shiew Mei Huang, Ph.D., of the FDA. “When there is too much drug in the blood, you may have more side effects.”