Erythromycin/Grapefruit Juice Interactions

This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug, changing your diet or commencing any course of treatment.

Medical warning:

Very important. A change in your diet, medicine, or dosage may be necessary. Promptly consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How the interaction occurs:

Grapefruit juice may increase the amount of erythromycin your body absorbs.

What might happen:

When erythromycin is taken with grapefruit juice, the grapefruit juice causes the erythromycin to build up in your body. This increased amount of erythromycin will have a greater effect of both desired and undesired effects.

What you should do about this interaction:

While you are taking this medicine, you should avoid eating grapefruit or or drinking grapefruit juice. You may choose an alternative citrus beverage (such as orange juice). In the event that you are instructed by a healthcare professional (e.g., doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian) to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice you should discuss with your doctor the effects of graprefruit on the blood levels of this medicine. These effects can occur even if grapefruit is not consumed at the same time of the erythromycin dose. This interaction may occur at any time in your treatment with erythromycin if grapefruit or grapefruit juice is consumed.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

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  • 2.Paine MF, Widmer WW, Hart HL, Pusek SN, Beavers KL, Criss AB, Brown SS, Thomas BF, Watkins PB. A furanocoumarin-free grapefruit juice establishes furanocoumarins as the mediators of the grapefruit juice-felodipine interaction. Am J Clin Nutr 2006 May;83(5):1097-105.
  • 3.Bailey DG, Dresser GK. Interactions between grapefruit juice and cardiovascular drugs. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs 2004;4(5):281-97.