Red Yeast

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Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Red yeast contains the statin drug lovastatin. Lovastatin might harm the liver in some people. Taking red yeast along with other medications that might also harm the liver might increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take red yeast if you are taking another medication that can harm the liver.

Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.



Alcohol
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Drinking alcohol might harm the liver. Red yeast might also harm the liver. Taking red yeast along with alcohol might increase the risk of liver damage. Do not drink alcohol if you are taking red yeast.



Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Red yeast might affect the muscles. Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) might also affect the muscles. Taking red yeast along with cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) might cause serious side effects.



Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Gemfibrozil (Lopid) can affect the muscles. Red yeast can also affect the muscles. Taking gemfibrozil along with red yeast might increase the risk of muscle problems.



Medications that decrease the break down of other medications in the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Some medications might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down red yeast. Taking red yeast along with some medications that decrease the breakdown of other medications in the liver can increase the effects and side effects of red yeast. Before taking red yeast, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications that might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down red yeast include amiodarone (Cordarone), clarithromycin (Biaxin), diltiazem (Cardizem), erythromycin (E-mycin, Erythrocin), indinavir (Crixivan), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), and many others.



Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Red yeast can help lower cholesterol. Taking red yeast along with other medications used to lower cholesterol might increase the risk of adverse effects. Do not take red yeast if you are already taking medications used for lowering cholesterol.

Some medications used for high cholesterol include cerivastatin (Baycol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and others.



Niacin
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Niacin can affect the muscles. Red yeast can also affect the muscles. Taking niacin along with red yeast might increase the risk of muscle problems.

Dosing considerations for Red Yeast.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • High cholesterol: 1200 mg to 2400 mg of red yeast once or twice daily. Only products containing chemicals similar to the prescription "statin" cholesterol drugs have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Many of these products provide approximately 5-10 mg of the statin drug called lovastatin.
  • High cholesterol related to HIV infection: 1200 mg twice daily.

Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Cholesterol Management

Tips to keep it under control.

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