Cholestin

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Question

What is Cholestin?

Answer

Cholestin is a nutritional supplement made from red yeast rice. Although claims about the supplement are controversial, some people believe that it reduces cholesterol in the blood by stopping an enzyme that makes cholesterol. The American Heart Association has issued a statement urging caution when using Cholestin. This was done because there is no reliable information about Cholestin's long-term safety or effectiveness.

Cholestin side effects

Common side effects include dizziness, heartburn and gas. In rare cases, high doses of lovastatin- the active ingredient in Cholestin - have been associated with serious muscle damage and kidney failure. These side effects may be more likely if you are taking certain prescription drugs, such as gemfibrozil (Lopid«) or niacin (Nicobid«), at the same time. You should not use Cholestin if you are pregnant, can become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Nor should you use the drug if you're under age 20. You should not use Cholestin if you are allergic to red yeast rice. Do not take Cholestin if you are at risk for liver disease or if you consume more than two drinks of alcohol per day. People who have a serious infection or have received an organ transplant should not take Cholestin either. If you experience any muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness - especially if you also have flu symptoms - stop taking Cholestin and call your physician as soon as possible.

Learn more about high cholesterol in the Health Encyclopedia.

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