Grapefruit and grapefruit juice interact with various medications. If you’re taking an antidepressant, there are side effects and potential interactions to know about.

Image of grapefruit half with pills spilling out, symbolic of negative linkShare on Pinterest
Yagi Studio/Getty Images

If you have depression and take medication, you may wonder what interactions can occur. Many people don’t know the effects their medication can have on them, so it’s important to research possible reactions and side effects of your prescriptions.

You may also consider speaking with your healthcare professional or pharmacist about the potential effects of the meds you’re taking. For example, some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have harmful interactions with citrus fruits such as grapefruit.

While grapefruit generally has various health benefits, it reacts with many medications. So it’s essential to be aware of the risks, as it doesn’t take much to experience long-term effects.

Eating grapefruit while taking antidepressants may not be a good idea until you know the various side effects of your medication. This is because a potentially dangerous drug interaction can occur between grapefruit and antidepressants.

While not all antidepressants have a harmful interaction with grapefruit, it is better to ask your doctor if grapefruit is OK to eat on your medication.

Research indicates that the enzyme responsible for metabolizing medications in your small intestine and liver, known as CYP3A4, is blocked by consuming grapefruit juice. So, when you eat grapefruit, your drug isn’t being metabolized and you have high levels of medication in your blood.

Several medications have poor interactions with grapefruit, not just antidepressants.


Older research suggests that these antidepressants may interact with grapefruit:

Anti-anxiety medications

Most anti-anxiety medications are safe to take with grapefruit. But some research indicates a reaction between grapefruit and buspirone.

Cholesterol medications

Grapefruit can interact with a variety of cholesterol medications. Research indicates that some prescriptions that have interactions in this category end in the word “statin,” such as:

Calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers are a category of medication used to help lower blood pressure. These medications prevent calcium from entering the heart.

According to an older study, calcium channel blockers interact with the components of grapefruit juice to cause problems. The most common interaction is seen in the medication felodipine.

Antipsychotic medications

Antipsychotic medications are typically prescribed to people who are experiencing hallucinations and delusions. Some common examples of antipsychotic drugs that interact with grapefruit include:

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all potential interactions with grapefruit, so discretion in eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice is something to consider until you are aware of the effects of your medication.

Can I have grapefruit with sertraline?

Grapefruit and sertraline, also known as Zoloft — can have a concerning combined effect if not monitored. Older research suggests that eating grapefruit while on sertraline can lead to too much sertraline in the blood due to grapefruit blocking the enzymes needed for metabolism.

This can cause dizziness or drowsiness. The interaction can happen quickly and last for several days.

Other citrus fruits may cause a food-drug interaction such as:

  • Seville oranges
  • pomelo juice
  • lime juice
  • grape juice

This interaction could be caused by the chemical bergamottin, which is found in citrus juices. It’s still debated whether bergamottin indeed inhibits the metabolism of the enzymes in the liver.

Grapefruit and other citrus fruits can have harmful long-term effects on your body when taken with certain medications. This is likely because fruits like grapefruit inhibit how you metabolize certain drugs.

When your body is blocked from metabolizing prescriptions, it’s left adrift in your system, which can cause high levels of the drug in your blood, leading to potentially dangerous effects. While having too much medication in your body affects everyone differently, it doesn’t take much grapefruit or grapefruit juice to see the effects.

Grapefruit does have a variety of health benefits, but when you are taking medication sometimes, the risk outweighs the benefits. Consider speaking to a healthcare professional about citrus fruits’ potential pros and cons to avoid harming your body.