PDF of Ask a Pharmacist 0413

The message in your response to the question “Can citrus fruits interfere with drug metabolism?” seems to be to avoid all citrus. We have recommended that regular orange juice consumption is not a problem with regard to medications. Can you clarify?

—Marsha S. Eisen, RD

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Thanks for the question. Certain citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, Seville orange, and bitter orange, are best avoided when patients are being treated with medications that interact with them.

Regular oranges, as you mention, have not been shown to affect drug metabolism to a clinically significant extent and may be consumed by patients taking some of the medications mentioned. However, patients should avoid citrus fruits that are known to interact with medications they are taking.