It can reduce the level of medications such as the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin (Mevacor
, Altocor), and the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra).
Labels on red yeast rice products generally do not disclose their lovastatin content due to concern the supplement will be considered an unapproved drug by the FDA and removed from the market, since lovastatin is a prescription drug (originally sold as Mevacor
A Red yeast rice has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, and contains several substances that are known to inhibit cholesterol synthesis--in fact one of these forms the basis of lovastatin (Mevacor
to determine levels of monacolin K, the same ingredient found in lovastatin (Mevacor
), a prescription statin drug that lowers cholesterol.
formulations took the top two spots, with Vytorin at the top of the brand list and lovastatin, the generic for Merck's Mevacor
, at the top of the generics list.
"Pfizer is conducting a huge clinical trial on low-dose Lipitor that would be a turning point in the OTC category if it does get approved," says Kline's Mahecha, noting that Merck's Mevacor
was denied a switch three times, so experts will be watching the process closely.
The most valued of all were "first-in-class" drugs that have opened "a new pathway for treating a disease." The antidepressant Prozac and the statin Mevacor
(which lowers cholesterol), both approved in 1987, are good examples.
Pectin can have a moderate interaction with the following drugs: tetracycline antibiotics; Digoxin (Lanoxin) a cardiovascular medicine; and Lovastatin (Mevacor
), a statin that lowers cholesterol.
However, consuming grapefruit along with atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor
) or simvastatin (Zocor) can increase the amount of drug in the system up to 700 percent, dramatically increasing the risk that this side effect will occur.
In addition to some of the statin drugs - namely lovastatins, atorvastatins and simvastatins that go by brand names such as Mevacor
, Lipitor, Zocor and Vytorin - there are pain medications, blood pressure drugs, impotence medications, psychiatric drugs, immune suppressants and many more medications that have the same trait.
According to yet another report "The drug known as lovastatin (which is known by several brand names, including Mevacor
[lovastatin]) can cause muscle weakness in rare cases." However, "the new warnings are not likely to cause doctors to pull their patients off the medications."
Zocor, Lipitor, Lescol and Mevacor
are all lipophilic--they "like" fats--meaning they dissolve easily into most any cell's membrane, passing through it like a ghost through a wall.