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The Simple Truth: Grapefruit Juice or Not?
Jul 4, 2012

It seems for years I have heard that grapefruit juice is to be avoided if one has HIV and is taking meds. The Forum is filled with listings, some from the 1990s, concerning this question. Most answers deal with a specific a medication. I'm terribly sorry but I'm currently virtually paralyzed with major depression (I have been hospitalized for suicidal "gestures" every 3 to 8 years since I was 16 and am now around 50). Eating one meal a day, sleeping as many as 36 hrs per shift, have so many unsurmountable problems in my life that the ability for rational and diagnostic thought totally eludes me. So can someone just tell me: is grapefruit juice a danger to a long-term HIV+ survivor (34 yrs). I am currently doing fairly well physically and am on Isentress and Truvada along with literally scores of other meds and supplements - about 60+ per day. I bought a bottle of grapefruit/tangerine juice and have enjoyed it, but need to know if it's doing me harm. Thanks most kindly.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

The simple truth is that a glass of grapefruit juice a day simply doesn't sufficiently interact with HIV medications to be a problem with any HIV medications.

Furthermore, the real issue is for medications that are metabolized using the liver cytochrome system (protease inhibitors, and to a lesser extent, NNRTIs). Since your regimen doesn't include these medications, your in the clear to consume as many grapefruit as you desire.

BTW, 60+ pills a day? That's an awful lot. I'd suggest talking to your doctor or nutritionist to see if you need all of these.

Be well, BY

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