Livalo and Grapefruit
Patients who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol are often advised to avoid grapefruit juice and other grapefruit products due to a compound that interferes with the body’s ability to utilize the medication.
Can I take grapefruit while on Livalo treatment?
Yes. According to the patient drug information provided by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America and Lilly USA – the makers of Livalo – it is safe to drink grapefruit juice and eat other grapefruit products while taking Livalo.
This makes Livalo a suitable treatment option for patients whose dietary preferences precluded them from taking other statin medications.
Although Livalo (Pitavastatin) works just like other statins, it does not have a similar structure and does not originate from the same substance. Unlike other statins that come from CYP3A4, Livalo is a said to be a substrate of CYP2C9 which makes it less likely to interact with grapefruit juice contents as well as other medications that are metabolized through CYP3A4 pathway. This also makes Livalo beneficial to elderly patients who are taking multiple drugs.
There are some healthcare providers that recommend added caution when combining Livalo and Grapefruit. They suggest delaying consumption of grapefruit for several hours after taking Livalo to prevent any potential interaction (although this is very unlikely to happen).
If you enjoy drinking grapefruit juice, be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider about its possible interaction with Livalo. Your physician can best guide on you the right course of action given your current health condition. In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend switching to other alternative drugs or adjusting the dosage. It is also important to monitor any side effects while taking this drug. Although side effects due to Livalo and grapefruit juice are rare, it is best to regularly visit your physician to check as well as to prevent any possible side effects.