Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

Lovastatin and Kratom: Are There Any Risks to This Combination?

Lovastatin (Altoprev) and kratom are very different compounds, and they’re taken for completely unrelated reasons.

This might lead some to overlook any possible reactions between the two compounds: however, this would be a mistake.

Kratom and lovastatin carry several potential risks that could make this combination dangerous. Always talk to your doctor before taking kratom if you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol or are taking prescription statin medications like Altoprev. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Devin Carlson

Last updated 5 months ago by John Dorsett

Lovastatin and Kratom: Are There Any Risks to This Combination?

Does Kratom Interact With Lovastatin?

Yes, kratom and lovastatin have a moderate to a high level of risk of interacting. 

The main cause of this interaction takes place in the liver, where both lovastatin and the active ingredients of kratom are metabolized. 

Drugs are metabolized by the liver by one of the many different types of enzymes in the CYP450 group. Each enzyme is designed to process a specific type of chemical. When two or more substances require attention from the same enzyme type, it can cause metabolism to slow down. If this goes on for too long, drug levels can start to build up in the body, potentially leading to side effects. 

Lovastatin and kratom alkaloids are both metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzymes [1,2]. This means they have a risk of competing for metabolism and could result in an ineffective metabolism of both compounds.

Is it Safe to Take Kratom With Lovastatin?

No, the risk of side effects from this combination is low, but the severity of side effects, should they occur, can be severe. Lovastatin and kratom should not be taken together. 

According to the FDA, excessive levels of statin activity in blood plasma are correlated with an elevated risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis.

The risk stemming from the interaction between lovastatin and kratom increases if more kratom is consumed. Any other CYP3A4 inhibitors should also be avoided when taking a statin prescription.

What is Lovastatin?

Lovastatin — sold commercially as Altoprev — is a type of prescription statin medication. 

Statins — also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors — are used to lower cholesterol levels and thus work to lessen the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, as well as treat certain conditions.

Statins work on the body through their lipid-lowering properties: the compounds inhibit the production of cholesterol through its effects on the HGM-CoA reductase enzyme. They also help the body reabsorb existing cholesterol in the bloodstream [3].

Lovastatin Specs:

Drug Name Lovastatin
Trade NamesAltoprev, Mevacor
Classification Statin
CYP MetabolismCYP3A4, CYP2C8
Interaction With Kratom Kratom inhibits the metabolization of lovastatin
Risk of InteractionModerate to High

What Is Lovastatin Used for?

The FDA has approved lovastatin for the following indications:

  • Reduction in the risk of heart attacks, revascularization procedures, and angina (chest pains caused by reduced blood flow to the heart).
  • Slows the advance of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with symptomatic coronary heart disease, usually as a part of a treatment strategy meant to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Reduces levels of total cholesterol and other compounds in adults with primary hyperlipidemia and mixed dyslipidemia.  

Statin medications like lovastatin are usually prescribed along with a strong recommendation for lifestyle alterations like exercise and dietary improvements.

What’s the Dose of Lovastatin?

Lovastatin is available in 10, 20, 40, and 60 mg tablets. It’s also available in immediate-release and extended-release forms.

As a prescription medication, you should only be consuming your lovastatin according to your doctor’s instructions. The appropriate dosage of lovastatin is dependent on a variety of factors that only a licensed physician may correctly evaluate.

Do not try to ascertain the proper dosage of lovastatin through information on the internet.

There are several contraindications associated with lovastatin, like concomitant administration of erythromycin, consumption of grapefruit juice, renal impairment, and more. Make sure to be aware of these dangers.

Generic & Brand Name Versions

Lovastatin is also available under the following brand names:

  • Mevacor (immediate-release)
  • Altoprev (extended-release)
  • Lovacard

What Are the Side Effects of Lovastatin?

Lovastatin use has been associated with the following adverse effects [1]:

  • Elevation in serum AST and ALT
  • Increased creatinine phosphokinase (CK)
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Skin rashes
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Myalgia, weakness, muscle cramps
  • Blurred vision

Though rarer, more serious side effects include:

  • Diabetes
  • Endocrine dysfunction
  • Hepatoxicity
  • Myopathy
  • Cognitive impairments (memory loss, confusion, etc.)

Additionally, lovastatin does not have any abuse potential. 

What is Kratom?

Much like coffee or the coca leaf, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is an all-natural herbal stimulant. However, it has a few other tricks up its sleeves as well. 

In lower doses, kratom is a potent stimulant, similar in effects to caffeine. 

However, in higher doses, kratom has euphoric, analgesic, and sedative qualities. 

When consumed in lower doses, kratom acts as a stimulant and can produce a range of cognitive benefits like increased mental energy and attention. It has also been known to produce feelings of euphoria.

But it doesn’t stop there. In higher doses, kratom begins to produce a different set of benefits. It’s used as a powerful painkiller due to its opioid-like effects. Others use it to help manage anxiety or insomnia as well.

Kratom is an unregulated substance, and wide-scale studies are still needed. It’s likely that there are even more benefits waiting to be discovered. 

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

It’s absolutely crucial to get your kratom dosage right.

As we’ve just seen, the effects of the kratom plant are highly dependent on dosage. If you want to make the best out of your kratom experience, then choose the right dosage for the job.

  • Low dose (1 – 5 g): Produces nootropic and stimulant effects such as increased mental functioning and euphoria. 
  • Medium dose (5 – 10 g): Analgesic and anxiolytic properties start to become more evident at this range.
  • High dose (10 – 15 g): heavy doses of kratom provide strong pharmacological benefits as well as potent sedative-like effects.

Just keep in mind that everyone’s bodies are different, and formulaic dosage recommendations are generally best avoided.

Also see: How Long Does it Take for Kratom to Kick In?

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Like pretty much all other drugs, kratom does have its share of side effects.

If you’re looking to experiment, you should become familiar with the typical adverse effects of kratom:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low libido
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Additionally, kratom can also cause symptoms of physical as well as mental dependence.

Be sure to draw back your kratom consumption if you begin to notice excessive side effects or dependence symptoms. Generally, kratom’s side effects are mild and can be controlled through proper dosage.

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

The kratom plant exists in 4 different strain variations. 

These strains are a great way to further enhance your kratom experience; their differing alkaloid content means each one has a slightly distinct psychoactive profile.

The overall effects will still be the same for each of them, but every strain emphasizes a different area of the kratom spectrum.

Learn the specialties of every strain, and you’ll always be in control.

A) White Vein Kratom

White-veined kratom strains are most associated with the effects of a low dose of kratom: that would be the stimulant, mind-based benefits like better concentration and euphoria.

If you’re interested in kratom as a morning pick-me-up, this is the best strain for the job.

B) Red Vein Kratom

As opposed to white vein, red vein kratom is best at stimulating the effects of a high dose of kratom.

Due to its ability to produce analgesic and anxiolytic benefits, this strain is quite popular with those experiencing chronic pain.

C) Green Vein Kratom

Green vein kratom is sort of like the middle point between red and white. Instead of emphasizing one area of the spectrum, it gives a perfectly balanced kratom experience.

If you want to experience all of what kratom has to offer: go with a green-veined strain.

D) Yellow Vein Kratom

There is nothing particularly exciting about yellow vein kratom. Users report it’s almost identical to a green-veined strain, except for the fact that the effects are much milder.

First-timers and those with a sensitivity to kratom gravitate towards this strain.

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Lovastatin?

No, the use of both kratom and lovastatin will place you at an increased risk of side effects, some of which can be severe. 

The fact that lovastatin is taken daily makes the risk even more pronounced. If you have a lovastatin prescription, you’re best off if you avoid consuming kratom. 

If, for some reason, you feel like you have to consume kratom while on lovastatin, make sure it’s a low dose, and make sure never to do it two days in a row.

Or you could consult your doctor for an appropriate compound to replace kratom with.

References

  1. Henwood, J. M., & Heel, R. C. (1988). Lovastatin. Drugs, 36(4), 429-454.
  2. Hanapi, N. A., Ismail, S., & Mansor, S. M. (2013). Inhibitory effect of mitragynine on human cytochrome P450 enzyme activities. Pharmacognosy Research, 5(4), 241.
  3. Endo, A. (1992). The discovery and development of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Journal of lipid research, 33(11), 1569-1582.