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Lisinopril Side Effects With Grapefruit

author image Anna Aronson
Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.
Lisinopril Side Effects With Grapefruit
Several medications can cause dangerous interactions if you also eat grapefruit, but lisinopril is not among them.

Lisinopril is a prescription mediation used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and heart failure. Doctors also prescribe it to help improve the odds of survival after someone suffers a heart attack, MedlinePlus reports. Although several medications and supplements do interact with lisinopril, it is not among the drugs that have a well-known interaction with grapefruit juice and other grapefruit products.

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How Lisinopril Works

Lisinopril is classified as an angiotensis-enzyme converting enzyme inhibitor, commonly known as an ACE inhibitor. It helps to improve heart health because the active ingredients in the medication limit the levels of chemicals that cause blood vessels to constrict, MedlinePlus reports. This effect then allows blood to flow more freely through the vessels, letting the heart work more efficiently at pumping blood.

Known Interactions

Several medications -- both prescription and over-the-counter -- can interact with lisinopril, and in some cases the combinations should be avoided because of potentially serious effects. The medications known to interact with lisinopril include aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications; ibuprofen; naproxen; diclofenac; etodolac; ketoprofen; indomethacin; diuretics; and gold injections used to treat arthritis, reports. Salt substitutes containing potassium and certain potassium supplements also can cause interactions and should be avoided. Before taking lisinopril, to prevent dangerous interactions, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications and supplements you use.

Medications That React With Grapefruit

Although lisinopril is not among them, several medications do interact with grapefruit, including some used to treat high blood pressure. You should not eat or drink grapefruit-containing products if you take medications classified as calcium-channel blockers to treat hypertension, Mayo Clinic advises. Calcium-channel blockers include nimodipine, nisoldipine and nifedipine. Other drugs that can interact with grapefruit include the antidepressant sertaline; the antihistamine fexofenadine; the anti-arrhythmia drug amiodarone; the anti-anxiety drug buspirone; the immunosuppressants cyclosporine, sirolimus and tacrolimus; the statins atorvastatin, lovastatin and simvastatin; the anti-seizure drug carbamazepine; and the anti-retroviral medications indinavir and saquinavir.

How Medications React With Grapefruit

When you take a medication known to interact with grapefruit and also eat or drink the fruit, it affects the way your body breaks down and then uses the medication. When this occurs, more the active ingredients in the drugs stay in your body for longer, making the medication more powerful and increasing your risk for developing toxicity or serious health effects, Mayo Clinic reports. Other related fruits that can cause the same interaction include pomelos and Seville oranges. Because of the risk of serious heath effects, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you take if you also eat grapefruit or grapefruit juice. In some cases, you may need to cut the citrus fruit out of your diet to stay safe.

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