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Lipitor & Grapefruit

A common question among users of Lipitor relates to whether or not eating a grapefruit (or drinking grapefruit juice) while taking Lipitor can be dangerous and possibly even fatal.

The answer is:
Lipitor contains an ingredient Atorvastatin, which belongs to a group of medicines called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. These medicines are used to help lower high cholesterol levels, and include known brands such as Zocor, Pravachol and Vastin.

A few studies involving repeated large quantities of grapefruit juice have actually shown that grapefruit juice can increase the amount of drugs (some) that the body can absorb. Only some of these HMG-CoA inhibitors are actually affected, but Lipitor is one of them, and the end result is that it may lead to an increased risk of certain negative effects that are sometimes associated with this drug - such as pain, weakness and muscle loss.

Important to note about the interaction of Lipitor & grapefruit:

  • Especially if the doses of Lipitor are low or moderate, the interaction between Lipitor & grapefruit may not be all that significant or important
  • The interaction between Lipitor & grapefruit may vary depending on the type of grapefruit, or different brands of grapefruit juice that are involved
  • Aside from Seville (bitter orange) oranges, this interaction effect is not known to occur with other citrus fruit

The safe path to take:
- While taking Lipitor, try to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice altogether
- If you are very worried, you could consult your doctor for suggestions about changing from Lipitor to another Cholesterol-reducing drug

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