Statin Drugs

Chaparral, Comfrey, and Coltsfoot —Possible Harmful Interaction Chinese Skullcap —Possible Harmful Interaction St. John's Wort —Possible Harmful Interaction Grapefruit Juice —Possible Harmful Interaction Vitamin B 3 —Benefits and Risks Pomegranate —Possible Harmful Interaction Red Yeast Rice —Possible Harmful Interaction Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 ) —Supplementation Possibly Helpful Fish Oil —Supplementation Probably Helpful

The statin drugs, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are the most popular and powerful medications for improving cholesterol profile . They work by interfering with HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme necessary for the body's manufacture of cholesterol. Drugs in this family include:

  • Atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor),
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol),
  • Lovastatin (Mevacor),
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol),
  • Simvastatin (Zocor),
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor),
  • and others.

The herb chaparral ( Larrea tridentate or L. mexicana ) has been promoted for use in arthritis, cancer, and various other conditions, but there is insufficient evidence supporting its effectiveness. There are, however, concerns about its apparent liver toxicity. Several cases of chaparral-induced liver damage have been reported, some of them severe enough to require liver transplantation. 1-6 Based on these reports, combining chaparral with other agents that are hard on the liver, such as statin drugs, may amplify the risk of potential liver problems. 7 Other herbs that are toxic to the liver include comfrey (Symphytum officinale) and coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) .

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