"Statins" Interactions

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Question

Are there any drug interactions with "statins" (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors)?

Answer

Statins can interact with other drugs, leading to a build-up in the body of the statin or the other drug being used. This drug interaction may result in frequent or severe side effects. Whether a drug interaction with a statin is likely to occur will depend in part on which HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor you are taking.

Potential causes of drug interactions

Drugs that are likely to interact with statins include antacids (Tums®, Maalox®), cyclosporine (Neoral®), erythromycin (Ery-Tab®, E.E.S.®), gemfibrozil (Lopid®), niacin (Niaspan®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), clarithromycin (Biaxin®), certain HIV medicines and warfarin (Coumadin®).

Consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice may also interfere with the body's ability to eliminate certain statins, especially lovastatin (Mevacor®) and simvastatin (Zocor®), possibly increasing your risk of side effects. This interaction appears to be less significant with the other statins. If you are taking lovastatin or simvastatin you may consider other citrus juices like orange juice. Other juices don't affect these medicines in this way.

Tell your health care provider the names of all of the medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter and herbal medicines because not all of the interactions may be listed here.

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