Some Red Yeast Rice Products Contain Undeclared Prescription Drugs: FDA Warning | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Red yeast rice and red yeast rice supplements are often marketed as cholesterol-lowering alternatives to medication.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced, however, that some red yeast rice products may lower peoples’ cholesterol because manufacturers have been illegally lacing them with lovastatin — the active ingredient in Mevacor, a prescription cholesterol drug.  The FDA has issued warnings related to the following specific red yeast rice products:

  • Red Yeast Rice and Red Yeast Rice/Policosonal Complex, sold by Swanson Healthcare Products, Inc. and manufactured by Nature’s Value Inc. and Kabco Inc., respectively
  • Cholestrix, sold by Sunburst Biorganics.

They warn that the products are particularly dangerous because consumers may be eating the rice for its health benefits precisely because they are not good candidates for treatment with lovastatin.  Additionally, they may not know the side effects of lovastatin or the ways in which it could interact with other prescription drugs they may be taking. If you consume red yeast rice products, you should consult your health care provider immediately if you experience any health problems that could be associated with lovastatin.  You should also report any adverse events to the FDA’s voluntary reporting program, MedWatch, via the agency’s reporting website:  www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.

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