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Interaction between Red Yeast Rice and CYP450 Enzymes/P-Glycoprotein and Its Implication for the Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Lovastatin.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:127043

Authors: Chen CH, Uang YS, Wang ST, Yang JC, Lin CJ


Red yeast rice (RYR) can reduce cholesterol through its active component, lovastatin. This study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic properties of lovastatin in RYR products and potential RYR-drug interactions. Extracts of three registered RYR products (LipoCol Forte, Cholestin, and Xuezhikang) were more effective than pure lovastatin in inhibiting the activities of cytochrome P450 enzymes and P-glycoprotein. Among CYP450 enzymes, RYR showed the highest inhibition on CYP1A2 and CYP2C19, with comparable inhibitory potencies to the corresponding typical inhibitors. In healthy volunteers taking the RYR product LipoCol Forte, the pharmacokinetic properties of lovastatin and lovastatin acid were linear in the dose range of 1 to 4 capsules taken as a single dose and no significant accumulation was observed after multiple dosing. Concomitant use of one LipoCol Forte capsule with nifedipine did not change the pharmacokinetics of nifedipine. Yet, concomitant use of gemfibrozil with LipoCol Forte resulted in a significant increase in the plasma concentration of lovastatin acid. These findings suggest that the use of RYR products may not have effects on the pharmacokinetics of concomitant comedications despite their effects to inhibit the activities of CYP450 enzymes and P-gp, whereas gemfibrozil affects the pharmacokinetics of lovastatin acid when used concomitantly with RYR products.

PMID: 23227093 [PubMed - in process]