Statins and Grapefruit
Interactions can occur between grapefruit and statins, resulting in an increased level of medication in the blood. If you are taking certain statin cholesterol medications, you should not eat or drink any grapefruit products, including supplements. The combination can increase your chances of developing serious muscle problems, which can potentially lead to life-threatening complications.
Statins are a group of prescription cholesterol medications. Some statins interact with grapefruit juice. Many people assume that all statins should not be combined with grapefruit juice, but there are several that do not interact with grapefruit at all.
With some statins, a significant portion of the dose is destroyed in the digestive tract by a certain enzyme before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Grapefruit products, including grapefruit juice, interfere with this enzyme. This means that much more medication than intended reaches the bloodstream. In fact, clinical studies have shown that grapefruit juice can significantly increase the levels of some statins in the blood. Even one glass of grapefruit juice daily can increase the blood levels of the medication, although problems are more likely to be seen in people who drink quite a bit of grapefruit juice (more than a quart a day).
The following statins (or statin combination drugs) are known to interact with grapefruit:
- Advicor® (niacin extended-release/lovastatin)
- Altoprev® (lovastatin extended-release)
- Caduet® (amlodipine and atorvastatin)
- Juvisync® (sitagliptin/simvastatin)
- Lipitor® (atorvastatin)
- Liptruzet™ (ezetimibe/atorvastatin)
- Livalo® (pitavastatin)
- Mevacor® (lovastatin)
- Simcor® (niacin extended-release/simvastatin)
- Vytorin® (ezetimibe/simvastatin)
- Zocor® (simvastatin).
The following statin drugs do not interact with grapefruit:
- Crestor® (rosuvastatin)
- Lescol® (fluvastatin)
- Lescol XL (fluvastatin extended-release)
- Pravachol® (pravastatin).