Red Yeast Rice - Drug Interactions

Red yeast rice supplements haven't been tested for safety and keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements here, but if you're considering the use of red yeast rice, talk with your doctor first. Some of the possible herb-drug interactions may include:

HMG Co-A Reductase Inhibitors / Statin Drugs:

e.g. atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin
Statin cholesterol-lowering drugs should not be taken with red yeast rice because it may increase the effect of these medications and raise the risk of side effects such as liver damage.

Fibrate Drugs:

e.g. fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, clofibrate 
Drugs in the fibrate family are used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood. Using them with red yeast rice may increase the effect of these medications.

Cyclosporine:

Cyclosporine should not be taken with red yeast rice. Because red yeast rice works in a similar way to statin drugs, taking them with cyclosporine increases blood levels of red yeast rice and raises the risk of the serious condition rhabdomyolysis.

Macrolide Antibiotics:

e.g. erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, dirithromycin, roxithromycin
Macrolides are a class of drugs used to treat infections such as respiratory tract infections and soft tissue infections.

They are known to interact with statin drugs (and therefore red yeast rice) and increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.

Antifungal Drugs:

Antifungal agents, particularly the azole antifungals fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole are known to interact with statin drugs (and therefore red yeast rice) and increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.

High-Dose Niacin:

Niacin supplements may increase the risk of myopathy if combined with red yeast rice.

Nefazodone:

Nefazadone is primarily used to treat depression. If combined with red yeast rice nefazodone may increase the risk of red yeast rice.

Protease Inhibitors:

Protease inhibitors, such as amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, are used for HIV infection. Use of red yeast rice with a protease inhibitor may increase the risk of myopathy.

Warfarin (Coumadin®):

Red yeast rice used with warfarin may increase the risk of bleeding.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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