Lisinopril and Grapefruit

by on April 20, 2012

Lisinopril belongs to a group of medication called angiontensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. ACE inhibitors relax the blood vessels by blocking the production of a vital chemical called angiotensin-converting enzyme.

Like any other medications, lisinopril has some known drug and food interactions; hence, taking these substances together must be avoided. One commonly asked question by consumers is whether or not they can safely consume Grapefruit, grapefruit juice and other grapefruit products while on Lisinopril.

Should grapefruit be avoided when taking lisinopril?

At present, there are no studies that prove any interaction between grapefruit juice and ACE-inhibitors including lisinopril although such drug-food interaction is possible with another group of medications closely linked with ACE-inhibitors – the angiotensin II type receptor antagonists (such as losartan and valsartan). Since there are no proven studies that show interaction between grapefruit and lisinopril, you can theoretically consume grapefruit while on lisinopril treatment without any adverse effects.

However, there are some resources suggesting that grapefruit could potentially increase the patient’s blood pressure (contradicting the desired effect of lisinopril which is to lower blood pressure). While these claims do not have substantial evidence and background studies, it is best to be warned and stay safe.

Healthcare providers, too, have contrasting opinions when it comes to lisinopril and grapefruit. If you ask a group of physicians prescribing lisinopril, you’d likely get different opinions. Some would warn you about the negative effects of taking lisinopril and grapefruit while others would not really mention any untoward interactions between these compounds.

Because of the varying recommendations, it is recommended that you consult your physician whether you should avoid grapefruit or not while on lisinopril.

Lisinopril and Other Drugs

People who are prescribed Lisinopril are often, also prescribed other medications concurrently such as statins and angiotensin II receptor antagonists.  These types of medications are known to interact with grapefruit.  If that is the case with you or someone you know, then grapefruit should not consumed.

Generally, doctors advise their patients to consult them first before taking any high acidic fruits, vegetables and other food products with your medication. For more specific information, you should consult your physician.

So if Lisinopril & Grapefruit are ok, why is Grapefruit not recommend with other drugs?

Basically, grapefruit contains potent chemicals that can affect or block the absorption of a lot of medications. It can either decrease the total drug serum levels or prolong the time needed for the medication take effect. Furthermore, there are some medications that are affected by grapefruit in such as way that their absorption is increased leading to medication toxicity and over-dosage.  Because of these effects, many drug labels recommend not using grapefruit product during treatment.