Red yeast rice is similar to pravastatin(Pravachol) for statin-intolerant patients

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Muscle pain or muscle breakdown is common among statin users.  Currently there is no effective method to prevent or to treat patients who experience muscle pain during statin use.

A study published in the January 15, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology indicated that red-yeast-rice extract is as efficacious and well tolerated as pravastatin in patients who previously have developed statin-associated muscle pain and withdrew from therapy.

In this study, 43 adults with high cholesterol and had discontinued statins were randomized to receive either red yeast rice or pravastatin 40mg for 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks of treatment, patients who received red yeast rice experienced cholesterol reduction (30% reduction in LDL, 23% reduction in total cholesterol and 8% reduction in triglyceride) that is comparable to that of pravastatin.

Extracts of red yeast rice have been widely used in China for circulatory and digestive disorders for centuries.  Preparations of red yeast rice are also used in the US as a dietary supplement to lower cholesterol levels, but reports have indicated inconsistent ingredients between different manufacturers.

Question:  Have your experienced any muscle pain while you were on pravastatin?  What did your doctor do?

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