The following explains what happens when consuming grapefruit while taking methadone:
Moderate Food Interaction
GENERALLY AVOID: Coadministration with grapefruit juice may increase the plasma concentrations of methadone. The proposed mechanism is inhibition of CYP450 3A4-mediated first-pass metabolism in the gut wall by certain compounds present in grapefruits. In 8 study subjects stabilized on methadone maintenance treatment, ingestion of regular strength grapefruit juice (200 mL one-half hour before and 200 mL simultaneously with the daily methadone dose) for five days resulted in an approximately 17% mean increase in methadone peak plasma concentration (Cmax) and systemic exposure (AUC) and a 14% mean decrease in apparent clearance for both the R(+) and S(-) enantiomers. Grapefruit juice did not affect the time to peak level (Tmax), terminal half-life, or apparent volume of distribution of methadone. No signs or symptoms of methadone toxicity or changes in intensity of withdrawal symptoms were reported in the study.
MANAGEMENT: Given the interindividual variability in the pharmacokinetics of methadone, a more significant interaction with grapefruit juice in certain patients cannot be ruled out. Patients treated with methadone should preferably avoid or limit the consumption of grapefruit juice, particularly during the induction of maintenance treatment.
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