Grapefruit and Advicor
Certain types of statins should not be taken in combination with grapefruit, and Advicor is a statin that can cause negative reactions when used with any grapefruit products. Grapefruit is believed to interfere with an enzyme that the body uses to break down lovastatin -- a component of Advicor. Clinical studies have shown that combining grapefruit and Advicor can significantly increase the levels of Advicor in the blood.
Like several other cholesterol-lowering statins, grapefruit products, such as grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or grapefruit supplements, can interact with Advicor® (niacin extended-release/lovastatin).
It is thought that grapefruit products, including grapefruit juice, interfere with an enzyme that breaks down much of a lovastatin dose in the digestive tract before it is absorbed into the bloodstream (lovastatin is one of the components of Advicor). This means that much more lovastatin than intended reaches the bloodstream. In fact, clinical studies have shown that grapefruit juice can significantly increase the levels of lovastatin in the blood. In one clinical study, lovastatin levels in the blood increased significantly when it was taken at the same time as high doses of grapefruit juice. Even one glass of grapefruit juice daily can significantly increase the levels of lovastatin in the blood.
It is recommended that people on Advicor not drink grapefruit juice, eat grapefruit, or use grapefruit supplements because it can increase the levels of Advicor in the blood. This, in turn, can increase the chances of developing a serious muscle problem (myopathy or rhabdomyolysis), which can cause kidney failure and other life-threatening complications, including, in rare cases, loss of life (see Advicor and Muscle Pain).
If you are being treated with Advicor and grapefruit juice is your preferred drink, talk to your doctor about other cholesterol medications that you can take. Several of the statin cholesterol medications do not appear to interact with grapefruit juice.