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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Red Yeast Rice

Generic Name: red yeast rice (Pronunciation: RED YEAST RICE)

What is red yeast rice (Red Yeast Rice)?

Red yeast rice is a product of yeast that is grown on rice. It is marketed as Cholestin, Monascus, Zhi Tai, hong qu, red koji, red rice, Xue Zhi Kang, and others.

Red yeast rice has been used with diet, exercise, and medical care to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It may reduce levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, and may also increase levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Not all uses for red yeast rice have been approved by the FDA. Red yeast rice should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Red yeast rice is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Red yeast rice may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of red yeast rice (Red Yeast Rice)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using red yeast rice and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about red yeast rice (Red Yeast Rice)?

Not all uses for red yeast rice have been approved by the FDA. Red yeast rice should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Red yeast rice is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Some cholesterol-lowering medications can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Avoid drinking alcohol while using red yeast rice. Alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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