Even though red yeast rice is an effective supplement that is used to treat high cholesterol, it is very important to note that it can react adversely to other medications.
Drug interactions with red yeast rice can be very serious and it is important that people are aware of what they are taking.
A List of the different drugs that red yeast rice can react with are listed below.
Antifungal Drugs – Drugs that are antifungal agents such as azole antifungals fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral) are all known to interact with red yeast rice and statins. The interactions can often lead to a possibility of having rhabdomyolysis.
Cyclosporine – Cyclosporine is one drug that should not be mixed or taken while using the supplement red yeast rice. The reason for this is that the condition rhabdomyolysis can occur, due to blood levels increasing when both red yeast rice and cyclosporine are taken together.
Fibrate Drugs – Certain fibrate drugs are often used to reduce the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Using them together with red yeast rice can often enhance the medications effects. Fibrates to stay away from are clofibrate (Atromid-S), fenofibrate (Lofibra ,Tricor, Triglide) and gemfibrozil (Lopid)
Niacin – Myopathy is possible when Niacin is taken with red yeast rice supplements.
Macrolide Antibiotics – Macrolides are a specific class of drugs that are often used to treat infection problems that affect the soft tissue and respiratory tract. They have been known to have a negative interaction with statin drugs and red yeast rice. The interaction can increase the overall risk of rhabdomyolysis. These marcolide drugs include clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), erythromycin, azithromycin (Zithromax) and roxithromycin (Rulid, Surlid)
Nefazodone – Nefazadone is a drug that is used to treat a medical condition depression. The risk of side effects of rate yeast rice can be increased if it is mixed with this drug.
Protease Inhibitors – Myopathy is possible if red yeast rice is mixed with drugs that are used to control the HIV virus. These drugs include amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir and saquinavir
Statin Drugs – Statin drugs that are used to reduce cholesterol should not be taken if you are using the red yeast rice supplement. The reason why this should not be done is that the effects of these medications increase in this can lead to more an increase in the side effects, such as liver damage. Statins to stay away from are atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol)