Grapefruit and Pravachol
Grapefruit and Pravachol do not appear to significantly interact with one another. Therefore, people taking Pravachol do not need to avoid grapefruit products (such as grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit supplements). However, some of the other statins (such as Zocor) are affected by grapefruit products. It is thought that grapefruit interferes with an enzyme the body uses to break down these medications. This interaction can increase the chances of developing a serious muscle problem or other complications.
Unlike several other cholesterol-lowering statins, grapefruit products, such as grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit supplements, do not appear to interact significantly with Pravachol® (pravastatin sodium). Therefore, people taking Pravachol do not need to avoid grapefruit products.
If you are taking a statin drug (other than Pravachol), be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about whether you can drink grapefruit juice or use other grapefruit products. This is because a number of statins are affected by grapefruit.
It is thought that grapefruit products interfere with an enzyme the body uses to break down certain statins, such as Zocor® (simvastatin), lovastatin (Mevacor®, Altoprev®) and, to a lesser extent, Lipitor® (atorvastatin). This means that these statins stay in the body longer than they normally would. For example, in one clinical study, Lipitor levels in the blood increased by 83 percent in those that drank grapefruit juice four times a day compared to the people who only drank water. For Zocor, blood levels of the drug can increase up to 12-fold in people who drink high doses of grapefruit juice.
Higher levels of a statin in the blood can increase the chances of developing a serious muscle problem (such as myopathy or rhabdomyolysis), which can cause kidney failure and other life-threatening complications.