Lipitor and Grapefruit

by on April 30, 2012

People who enjoy consuming grapefruit are often advised to cautious when taking cholesterol medications. The fruit and its juice can be very hazardous if you're on certain medications. Lipitor is one of those medications.

Lipitor is in the drug class known as statins, which are used for lowering “bad” cholesterol that can be found in human blood. Lipitor helps decrease an enzyme found in the liver that produces cholesterol in the body. Grapefruit can also help lower cholesterol but inhibits a substance in your small intestine that breaks down most foods and medications before the body absorbs them.  Taking grapefruit while on medications such as Lipitor and a few others can results in serious unwanted interactions.

When taken together your body will be gaining too much of the “active ingredient” of Lipitor. When a body gains too much Atorvastatin there could be side effects such as muscle disorder or liver damage. The interaction of Lipitor and grapefruit can occur even days after consuming either of them, since the enzymes and drugs can be in your system for an extended amount of time. Therefore, you cannot take Lipitor in the morning and then have a glass of grapefruit juice in the afternoon.


There are only two reasonable actions to take with a situation like this. The first option is to exclude grapefruit from your diet and switch to eating other fruits. This is  a good time to try out different fruits and vegetables. There are many other fruits that contain the vitamins that can be found in grapefruit: vitamin c, a vitamin which helps eight bodily functions, which can be found in oranges, and lycopene, a pigment high in antioxidants, which can be found in watermelon and papaya. If you don’t want to have a Lipitor and grapefruit interaction make sure you ask your doctor about common foods that may contain grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Also be sure you read the ingredients of food that you might think contains grapefruit.

The other option, if you must have grapefruit in your diet, is to talk to your doctor and see if there is another drug that will not have the same side-effects as Lipitor. There are other options than Lipitor that can be used as a “bad” cholesterol regulator. Crestor, Livalo, and Pravastatin (Pravachol) are statins that could be used instead of Lipitor, but they come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Whatever choice you make the same rules apply: talk with your doctor, read the labels of the medication that you choose to take, and read the ingredients of the food you ingest.