Grapefruit oil and medication

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Benefits and Safety Issues of Coffee Essential Oil #Tisserand #TisserandInstitute #Infographic #EssentialOils #information #study #research #safety #coffee #coffeeoil #coffeeessentialoilDoctors warn against consuming Grapefruit juice if you take certain types of medication, such as statins, which are metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. Grapefruit juice inhibits this enzyme so the liver produces less of it, and this affects the action of those drugs – they will be less effective. This is known as a drug interaction. Should you also be careful when using the essential oil?

Grapefruit juice interaction is primarily due to dihydroxybergamottin, which is not present in the essential oil. Another interacting Grapefruit juice constituent is bergamottin, which is found in the oil, but the action of bergamottin on enzymes is relatively weak. So for Grapefruit oil there is no risk, unless you ingest a significant quantity. We don’t know exactly how much, but probably at least 1mL per day. No known interactions with citrus oils have ever been recorded.

Learn more about the actions of enzymes on medication and essential oils: www.tisserandinstitute.org/how-essential-oils-work-in-the-body

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22 Comments

  1. Can I use grapefruit essential oils to massage my legs if I’m taking Simvastatin

    Reply
    • Grapefruit oil will not interact with Simvastatin, so in that sense it is completely safe. The maximum topical for Grapefruit oil is 4% to avoid phototoxicity.

      Reply
  2. I shared this information with my mother who wants to use grapefruit essential oil to help lower her cholesterol, and who currently takes Amlodipine (UK) for Blood Pressure. She consulted with a local pharmacist (who may not have ANY knowledge of essential oils, let’s face it) and she was discouraged from using it – she was told that it could cause her BP to be lowered even more than from the effect of taking the medication, so it wasn’t advisable for her to take it. I can read very clearly that you see no risk – we would be talking a max of 2 drops per day in 2 different capsules – so would appreciate your thoughts given your level of expertise in the field. Many thanks

    Reply
    • It is generally recommended to avoid drinking grapefruit juice when taking Amlodipine, because of the potential for interaction. This will not apply to grapefruit oil, and certainly not to two drops per day, but I suspect most pharmacists will not understand this distinction.

      Reply
  3. Hi, could I use grapefruit oil if I take Clorazepate?

    Reply
    • Safety is never guaranteed, but there’s no indication that Grapefruit essential oil interacts with any medication.

      Reply
  4. Hi, can I use grapefruit oil on my body if I take Clorazepate?

    Reply
    • Yes, so long as the Grapefruit oil is reasonably diluted.

      Reply
  5. Would it be safe to drink Poland ruby red grapefruit seltzer as it contains the oil only? Perhaps a 12 oz can 3 times a week?

    Reply
    • If you mean in relation to a possible drug interaction then yes, I presume it would be safe.

      Reply
  6. When they discuss how grapefruit juice can interact with SSRI meds, specifically Zoloft, that is obviously referring to drinking the juice. There are some EO’s that I’ve read can also poorly interact with Zoloft, such as clove, nutmeg, clary sage, bergamot, geranium, oregano, etc. All the real good ones for anxiety! I was wondering, does this include ingesting and diffusing? I don’t use any of these singularly in my diffuser and nebulize but as drops blended with other oils. Would the minute amount of the drops of those oils cause a negative reaction to the drug?

    Reply
    • Grapefruit juice specifically interacts with CYP3A4, which is of relevance to some SSRIs, including Zoloft (sertraline). I am not aware of any data that suggests a potential problem with Clove, Nutmeg, Clary Sage, Geranium or Oregano essential oils, though Bergamot oil might be problematic, and Peppermint oil could well be. Nutmeg may interact with CYP3A4, but this is the spice, not the essential oil.

      The risk depends on “exposure” – how much gets into your body, and in most cases this only applies to ingestion.

      Reply
  7. Grapefruit chapstick… is that an issue with interactions of pain meds?

    Reply
    • If it contains Grapefruit oil, then no – no issue.

      Reply
  8. Will using a facial scrub or wash with grapefruit interact with Everolimus?

    Reply
    • Nothing in a facial product (especially a wash-off product) could get into the body be in sufficient quantity for there to be a drug interaction. And, if this is Grapefruit oil, it would not interact anyway.

      Reply
  9. Am I correct in understanding that the DHB/CYP interaction occurs in the intestine? Would topical application of grapefruit oil, then, pose even less of a risk than internal consumption? Can the constituents of topically applied grapefruit oil make it into the intestines? Thank you!

    Reply
    • CYP enzymes are produced by various tissues, but the primary site of interaction, from any mode of application, is the liver. The determining factor is the blood concentration of essential oil constituent, which is almost always going to be very much lower from topical application than from ingestion. But since Grapefruit essential oil contains no DHB the question does not arise in this instance.

      Reply
  10. I am a long term Zoloft user and began using essential oils in my drinking water to help with acid reflux, namely, grapefruit peel, lemon peel, peppermint plant, ginger root, and cinnamon bark. Did I understand correctly that some of these will react with Zoloft? What other essential oils should I avoid? And is the problem primarily with ingesting, or should I avoid topical use, as well? Thank you so much for any help you can give me! It can be so confusing!

    Reply
    • Hi Judy, Essential oils than inhibit an enzyme called CYP3A4 include Peppermint, German Chamomile and Bergamot, and these could potentially interact with Zoloft. However, if you are not experiencing a problem, then you should be fine.

      Reply
  11. I am taking astorvanstin to prevent stroke and high cholesterol, I’m observing due to no grapefruit use can I use Theraworx Relief which had grapefruit in for my muscle spasm?

    Reply
    • It looks like this contains grapefruit seed extract, in which case it would not be a problem in terms of drug interaction.

      Reply

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