Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Does a Grapefruit a Day Keep My Contraception Away?

Hi Dr Kate,

I've heard that a chemical in grapefruit juice blocks the absorption of some medications. I've been on birth control for a month, and generally eat one grapefruit a day. Could this lower the effectiveness of the pill?

Thanks,
Fruit Fan

Dear Fan,

You're right, grapefruit juice can interact with some medications - but your birth control pill is fine. Only anti-seizure meds, certain strange antibiotics and St. John's Wort have been found to lower the pill's effectiveness. If anything, your pill will be more effective (in a sense) because it will absorb more slowly, leading to higher hormone levels in your blood. So f you're going to continue to eat a grapefruit each day, I'd let your gyno know, so she can keep you on the lowest possible dose pill.

Keep up the healthy eating!
Dr. Kate

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