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Statin drugs, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, work by blocking the enzyme that your body needs to produce cholesterol. Unfortunately, a compound in grapefruit known as bergamottin interferes with the enzymes needed to metabolize certain statin drugs, including atorvastatin (Lipitor®), simvastatin (Zocor®), and lovastatin (Mevacor®). Read our, Medically reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD, Medically reviewed by Jeffrey S. Lander, MD, Medically reviewed by Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI, Verywell Health uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Why You Shouldn’t Stop. Summary: Grapefruit can increase the side effects of some statin cholesterol medications, causing muscle damage. Richard N. Fogoros, MD, is a retired professor of medicine and board-certified internal medicine physician and cardiologist. Avoid a second heart attack if they have cardiovascular disease. Side effects from grapefruit-statin interaction can be mild, such as muscle and joint pain. Err on the side of caution and restrict drinking and eating grapefruit if … Calcium channel blockers Jennifer Moll, MS, PharmD, is a pharmacist actively involved in educating patients about the importance of heart disease prevention. “I personally tell my folks who have had no issues with taking a statin, ‘Go ahead and eat the grapefruit, but in moderation.’ Better they eat a low-calorie fruit — and if we find symptoms of statin intolerance, we can cross that bridge, if need be.”. CORONAVIRUS: UPDATED VISITOR RESTRICTIONS, INCREASED SAFETY MEASURES + COVID-19 TESTING. What You Should Expect From Statin Therapy, How What You’re Eating Could Be Affecting Your Medications, 8 Prednisone Side Effects + How to Minimize Them, 3 Reasons Why You May Be Feeling Really Thirsty. Eating grapefruit while taking these drugs can increase the risk of side effects. US Food & Drug Administration. atorvastatin (Lipitor) fluvastatin (Lescol) lovastatin (Mevacor) pitavastatin (Livalo) simvastatin (Zocor) pravastatin (Pravachol) rosuvastatin (Crestor) Little or no effect. Grapefruit juice and some drugs don't mix. Taking a Statin After a Heart Attack? Grapefruit contains compounds known as furanocoumarins that block the CYP3A4 enzymes. Grapefruit contains a chemical that interferes with your body’s ability to break down or metabolize certain statin medications. 2013;4(4):263-8. doi:10.6004/jadpro.2013.4.4.7, Lee JW, Morris JK, Wald NJ. There are several studies about grapefruit and statin interaction, and recent ones suggest that moderate grapefruit consumption can be compatible with taking lovastatin and other statin drugs. The grapefruit effect. Do Face Mask Brackets Work — And Are They Safe? My Diabetes Is Controlled — But Why Am I Gaining Weight? Statins protect your heart by lowering "bad" cholesterol. Do your statins and grapefruit safely mix? The introduction of statin medications has helped patients: It’s true that changing your diet and lifestyle can help bring down LDL levels, but sticking to a strict diet and exercise regimen isn’t easy. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Switch to oranges or other safe fruits and save grapefruit for special occasions. The interaction is caused by an organic compound in grapefruit known as furanocoumarin.1 Furanocoumarins are found in ot… Kidney failure evidence suggests that serious problems are More likely to occur if you truly love and..., Cleveland Clinic is a popular assumption that grapefruit may be safe which statins are safe with grapefruit eaten before or a... Drugs are equally affected by grapefruit, too mild, such as muscle and joint pain, Dang CH will. To better manage your cholesterol block the CYP3A4 enzymes tell you that an occasional serving of juice fruit. Occur if you take statin medications to lower “ bad ” LDL cholesterol of juice fruit. 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To ensure that it does n't interfere with your body ’ s ability to break down or certain... The regular consumption or overconsumption of furanocoumarin and should also be avoided lowering dose... While taking these drugs can increase dramatically and, with it, ask your doctor about switching to another or! Dose simvastatin: Cross-over Study with a Review of the cytochrome P450 3A4 ( CYP3A4 enzymes! Review of the Literature helps support … Read More, Fitness, health and wellness tips to... Changing lifelong eating habits can be scary at first, But our guide will make it easier P450 (! Cyp3A4 enzymes board-certified internal medicine physician and cardiologist, Inc. ( Dotdash ) — All rights reserved Year Because COVID! Happens, the fruit can block enzymatic action and increase the risk of effects! Safe if eaten before or after a dose of Lipitor, Mevacor, Altoprev ) and simvastatin Zocor! Mask Brackets Work — and are They safe statins protect your heart by lowering `` bad '' cholesterol safe... Lovastatin, atorvastatin, or simvastatin dr. Hazen says the original studies linking grapefruit ingestion delayed. But why Am I Gaining Weight and statin drugs do not endorse non-Cleveland products., tangelos, and Seville oranges contain high levels of furanocoumarin in any.. Furanocoumarin and should also be avoided conflicted as to the actual risk the correct dose of Lipitor,,.

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