Simcor and Grapefruit
As with other statin medications, it is generally recommended that you avoid consuming grapefruit products while taking Simcor (niacin extended-release/simvastatin). Grapefruit products can significantly increase the levels of simvastatin (one of the components of the medication) in the blood. If grapefruit juice is your preferred drink, talk to your doctor about other cholesterol medications that you can take.
Simcor® (niacin extended-release/simvastatin) is a prescription cholesterol medication that contains niacin (a B vitamin) and simvastatin (a "statin" medication). As with many other statins, Simcor may interact with grapefruit products, such as grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or grapefruit supplements.
Normally, much of a simvastatin dosage is destroyed in the digestive tract by a certain enzyme before it can even be absorbed into the bloodstream. Grapefruit products, including grapefruit juice, interfere with this enzyme. This means that much more simvastatin than intended reaches the bloodstream. In fact, clinical studies have shown that grapefruit juice can significantly increase the levels of simvastatin in the blood. Even one glass of grapefruit juice daily can increase the levels of simvastatin in the blood, although problems are most likely to be seen in people who drink quite a bit of grapefruit juice (more than a quart a day).
RecommendationsIt is recommended that people on Simcor avoid consuming large amounts of grapefruit juice, grapefruit, or grapefruit supplements, as this can increase the levels of Simcor in the blood. This increases 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 Simcor and Muscle Pain). If you want to be completely safe, it is probably a good idea to avoid such products altogether.
If you are being treated with Simcor and grapefruit juice is your preferred drink, talk to your doctor about other cholesterol medications that you can take. A few of the statin cholesterol medications do not appear to interact with grapefruit juice. If you take Simcor, do not drastically increase or decrease your grapefruit consumption without first checking with your healthcare provider.