Does your statin stop you from drinking grapefruit juice? There is a solution.
March 11, 2021
What are statins?
A vast majority of the U.S population suffers from high cholesterol. High cholesterol is not normal. Unlike other diseases, it has no symptoms and is considered a silent killer*.
Statins are the first line of defence against high cholesterol and have been around for decades. Doctors consider this drug class to be the most effective medication for treating high cholesterol.
Do Statins have side-effects?
Statins, while taken by millions of Americans each year, have some side-effects associated with them. The most common side effects of statin medication are muscle pain, muscle cramps and muscle weakness.
Cause of side-effects: The risk of statin side effects increases with the statin dosage. As a rule of thumb, the higher the dose of statin you take, the higher the statin concentration in your blood. This leads to a greater risk of a side effect such as muscle pain.
Factors affecting Statin Concentration in your blood
- Other medications: Statins can interact with other medications. Be sure to tell your doctor about all over-the-counter products, supplements, and prescription medications you are currently taking.
- The time you take your statin: Some statins need to be strictly taken in the evening. This is because the cholesterol-making enzyme in our body is more active at night.
Newer statins, like pitavastatin, tend to be more stable in your body and, as a result, can be taken at any time of day.
- Taking a statin with or without food: Eating food can change how your body absorbs medications. Some statins need to be taken with a meal, while others should be taken on an empty stomach. Pitavastatin can be taken with or without food.
- Grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice can increase the concentration of statins in your blood, increasing the risk of side effects. Pitavastatin does not have this interaction.
What is different about the latest-generation statin medications
The good news is that there is now a newer statin available in the U.S. known as Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets.
Zypitamag (pitavastatin) is a next-generation statin. Some key features of Zypitamag include:
- Reduced potential to interact with certain medications
- Taken once daily
- Taken at any time of the day
- Can be taken with grapefruit juice
Clinically, pitavastatin has been shown to reduce LDL-C or ‘bad cholesterol’ by 45%. Click to learn more about Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets.
The effect of pitavastatin on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.
This article contains information about an FDA-approved product, Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets. This medication is available by prescription only. Talk to your doctor to see if Zypitamag is right for you. Please refer to the Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets Important Safety Information below and Prescribing Information for more information.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for ZYPITAMAG® (pitavastatin) tablets
Who should NOT take ZYPITAMAG?
ZYPITAMAG is not right for everyone. Do not take ZYPITAMAG if:
- You have a known allergy to ZYPITAMAG or any of its ingredients.
- You have active liver problems, including some abnormal liver test results.
- You are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant, as it may harm the baby.
- You are currently taking cyclosporine or gemfibrozil.
What is the most important information I should know and talk to my doctor about?
- Call your healthcare provider or get help right away if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, or hives.
- Muscle problems may be an early sign of rare, serious conditions. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever, or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing ZYPITAMAG.
- Serious liver problems have been reported rarely in patients taking statins, including pitavastatin. Your doctor should do liver tests before you start, and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you are taking ZYPITAMAG. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you feel more tired than usual, have a loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications you take including nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
- Increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including pitavastatin.
- Tell your doctor about your alcohol use.
- Tell your healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy.
What are the most common side effects of ZYPITAMAG?
The most common side effects of ZYPITAMAG in clinical studies were:
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
- Pain in the legs or arms
This is not a complete list of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of all drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store and take ZYPITAMAG?
- Store ZYPITAMAG tablets at room temperature, in a dry place, and out of the reach of children.
- Take ZYPITAMAG orally once daily with or without food at the same time each day.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not split, crush, dissolve, or chew.
- The maximum recommended dosage is ZYPITAMAG 4 mg once daily.
- If you take too much ZYPITAMAG or you or someone else takes an overdose, call your doctor and/or local Poison Control Center.
Other important information I should know about ZYPITAMAG.
- ZYPITAMAG has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death.
- ZYPITAMAG is available by prescription only.
For additional information, please see the full Prescribing Information.