Pakistan News Service

Wednesday Aug 15, 2018, Zul-hijjah 3, 1439 Hijri
Pakistan News Home -> Health -> News Details

Cholesterol Pills and Grapefruit Don’t Mix

28 December, 2007

  Related News  
Study Crushes Garlic`s Claim to Lower Cholesterol
Responding to TB in Asia: More of the same will brew drug resistance
  More on this View All

ISLAMABAD: Taking certain cholesterol-lowering drugs at the same time as grapefruit juice can increase the risk of potentially life-threatening muscle toxicity, British regulators warned on Tuesday.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said the risk was greatest with Merck & Co Inc’s Zocor, or simvastatin, which recently went on sale without prescription in Britain, and Pfizer Inc’s Lipitor.

The problem occurs because grapefruit contains a chemical that inactivates a liver enzyme involved in drug metabolism. As a result, regular consumption of grapefruit juice can lead to excessively high levels of medicine in the blood.

The risk of serious muscle problems also increases when these cholesterol pills, or statins, are taken along with some other drugs, including HIV protease inhibitors, the agency said in an update to doctors.

The grapefruit hazard is not significant for other statins, such as Novartis AG’s Lescol, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s Pravachol and AstraZeneca Plc’s Crestor.

But muscle toxicity is still a recognized adverse reaction with high doses of all statins, leading in rare cases to rhabdomyolysis -- a condition in which muscle fibers break down and are released into the circulation, damaging the kidney.

Worries about rhabdomyolysis have been a particular issue for Crestor, the most potent of the anti-cholesterol drugs, with U.S. consumer group Public Citizen calling for its withdrawal following a handful of cases.

To date, Britain’s Committee on Safety of Medicines has received 10 reports of suspected rhabdomyolysis with Crestor, the agency said.

AstraZeneca recently advised that all patients should start on the initial dose of 10 mg of Crestor once daily and move up to a higher dose only after a 4-week trial of 10 mg.

Despite this cautious approach, the Anglo-Swedish group says all the evidence suggests that Crestor’s safety profile is in line with that of other marketed statins.


Reader Comments:

Apple Web service falters on eve of iPhone launch

Apple Inc.'s new data synching service got off to a rocky start Thursday, as some users were denied access to their accounts just hours before the next-generation iPhone is slated to go on sale.

TessrTorn, - 15 July, 2008

 What do you think about the story ? Leave your comments!

Heading (Optional)
Your Comments: *

Your Name:*
E-mail (Optional):
City (Optional):
Country (Optional):
Field marked(*) are mandatory.
Note. The PakTribune will publish as many comments as possible but cannot guarantee publication of all. PakTribune keeps its rights reserved to edit the comments for reasons of clarity, brevity and morality. The external links like http:// https:// etc... are not allowed for the time being to be posted inside comments to discourage spammers.

  Speak Out View All
Military Courts
Imran - Qadri long march
Candid Corner
Exclusive by
Lt. Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Pakistan itself a victim of state-sponsored terrorism: Qamar Bajwa
Should You Try Napping During the Workday?
Suggested Sites