Cholesterol-lowering drugs can interact with grapefruit juice and increase the risk of the drugs' potential side-effects

Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency recently issued prescribing advice reminding healthcare professionals that certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, namely Zocor (simvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin), can interact with grapefruit juice and increase the risk of the drugs' potential side-effects.

The Agency also stated that according to scientific literature, grapefruit is safe to consume if taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs Lescol (fluvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin).

"Not all cholesterol-lowering drugs interact with grapefruit," says Carla McGill, director of science and health at the Florida Department of Citrus. "Many people consume grapefruit and grapefruit juice for its natural nutrition benefits and refreshing taste, so we encourage consumers to consult with their pharmacist or physician if they're taking a prescription medication and have concerns, or would like to seek alternative drug options."

The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs approximately 90,000 people, provides a US$ 9 billion annual economic impact to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida's schools, roads and health care services.

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