Hypertension And High Cholesterol

Interactions between Crestor and Grapefruit

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When people worry about drug interactions, they typically think of two drugs combining to form an undesired or dangerous outcome. In some cases, however, a drug can actually interact with food. Such is the case with grapefruit and various statins used to combat high cholesterol. One of these statins, Rosuvastatin, or Crestor, appears to have much less of an interaction risk with grapefruit than some other statins.

According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, Crestor is a medication that has very little to no interaction with grapefruit. Because of this, it is often used as the medication of choice for high cholesterol when a person does not wish to give up grapefruit.

Grapefruit is a very powerful and healthy fruit, but it has the potential to interact with a number of medications. There are many chemicals in it that may be responsible for the interactions, but furanocoumarin is one of the most likely culprits. These chemicals are found naturally in the grapefruit and not artificially added.

According to the Family Health Guide, grapefruit does not interact in a direct manner with medications. It connects to CYP3A4, an enzyme that is found in the intestinal tract. This enzyme has the effect of lowering the absorption of specific medicines into your bloodstream. When this enzyme cannot do its job, more of the medication passes into the bloodstream. The increased and quickly rising levels of medication can spell danger.

The interaction with grapefruit occurs with a variety of medications including Plendil, Procardia, Valium, Zoloft and others. Specifically it has a substantial interaction with the statins Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Simvastatin (Zocor) and Lovastatin (Mevacor). Crestor, along with the other statin medications Fluvastatin (Lescol) and Pravastatin (Pravachol) appear to be less affected.

If you are taking one of the statins that is affected by grapefruit, you will need to avoid other grapefruit products such as grapefruit juice and grapefruit supplements. When you have too many statins in your blood, serious muscle problems can occur. These include myopathy or rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney failure and other extremely dangerous and life-threatening issues. According to eMedTV, most people taking Crestor are much less likely to be affected by these problems than those taking Lipitor and Zocor. 

Because of the potentially serious consequences, it is important to discuss any possible medication interactions with your physician including that between Crestor and grapefruit. For most patients Crestor should be fine to take with grapefruit products such as grapefruit itself as well as supplements, juice and other products in which grapefruit is an ingredient. If you are on Crestor, speak to your physician about your consumption of grapefruit.

More about this author: Suzanne Rose

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