Grapefruit Juice and Mevacor
Consuming both grapefruit juice and Mevacor is not recommended, because the combination of the two can significantly increase drug levels in the body. Grapefruit products tend to interfere with an enzyme that is used by the body to break down Mevacor, which means the medicine ends up staying in the body much longer than intended. If you are being treated with Mevacor and grapefruit juice is your preferred drink, talk to your doctor about other cholesterol medications that you can take.
Grapefruit Juice and Mevacor: An Overview
Grapefruit products, such as grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or grapefruit supplements, can interact with Mevacor® (lovastatin) as well as several other cholesterol-lowering statins.
The Grapefruit Juice Mevacor Interaction
It is thought that grapefruit products, including grapefruit juice, interfere with an enzyme in the digestive tract that breaks down Mevacor. This means that more Mevacor reaches the bloodstream (instead of being destroyed in the digestive tract). In fact, clinical studies have shown that grapefruit juice can significantly increase the levels of Mevacor in the blood. In one clinical study, Mevacor levels in the blood increased 15-fold when Mevacor was taken at the same time as high doses of grapefruit juice. Even one glass of grapefruit juice daily can significantly increase the levels of Mevacor in the blood.
Recommendations for Grapefruit Juice and Mevacor
It is recommended that people on Mevacor not drink grapefruit juice, eat grapefruit, or use grapefruit supplements because it can increase the levels of Mevacor in the blood. The combination of Mevacor and grapefruit products becomes a problem because it can increase the chances for developing a serious muscle problem (myopathy or rhabdomyolysis). This can cause the kidneys to stop working and lead to other life-threatening complications, including (in rare cases) loss of life.
(Click Mevacor and Muscle Pain for more information about this potential serious side effect.)
If you are being treated with Mevacor and grapefruit juice is your preferred drink, talk to your doctor about other cholesterol medications that you can take. Several of the statin cholesterol medications do not appear to interact with grapefruit juice.