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Does CBD Interact With Lovastatin (Altoprev)?

CBD is unlikely to interact with lovastatin, or other statin drugs.

However, always speak to your doctor before mixing any supplements with your cholesterol or heart medications.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on January 25, 2022

Lovastatin is a drug used to treat high cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  

Lovastatin and cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid derived from cannabis, have a low risk of interacting together. 

The most likely interaction involves the way these compounds are metabolized. Both substances may compete with each other for metabolism — potentially increasing the risk of side effects from lovastatin. 

Illustration of lovastatin tablets

Does CBD Interact With Lovastatin (Altoprev)?

While the risk is minimal, CBD may interact with lovastatin (Altoprev). This is mainly to do with how they are metabolized in the body. 

Some people report a reduction in side effects when using CBD in combination with statin drugs — especially surrounding myopathy or myalgia. Everybody is different, so it’s important to speak to your doctor before taking CBD with your statin medications. 

CBD and statins like lovastatin have completely different mechanisms of action. While CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors, lovastatin inhibits the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase enzyme. This action reduces the production of cholesterol in the body.

CBD’s interaction with lovastatin can happen in two ways: 

A) Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Competition)

The P450 enzymes in the body metabolize most drugs and supplements we consume — including CBD and lovastatin. 

Metabolic competition between drugs occurs when two drugs need the same enzymes for their metabolism. This causes them to compete against each other for metabolism — resulting in slower metabolism and elimination of both substances.

Lovastatin is primarily metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. This is also one of the main enzymes responsible for metabolizing CBD as well. This competitive inhibition can cause lovastatin to accumulate in the bloodstream — potentially increasing the risk of side effects.

It’s wise to take periodic breaks from using CBD to prevent this accumulation and give the body ample opportunity to metabolize lovastatin as expected. 

B) Increased Effect (Agonistic Interaction)

Agonistic interaction happens when two drugs have similar effects on the body. This added force in the same direction can lead to adverse reactions by causing too much of an effect. 

In the case of CBD and lovastatin, it’s possible that the cholesterol-reducing action of both substances could cause cholesterol levels to become too low — leading to some significant side effects long-term. 

CBD has been shown to inhibit cholesteryl ester formation in the human fibroblasts and aortic medial cells of the body [2]. This may boost the effects of lovastatin for managing high blood lipid levels — however, it could also lead to side effects involving reduced arterial integrity and steroid hormone production.  

Similar Medications: CBD & Statins (HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors)

Lovastatin is a type of statin or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. CBD and statin medications all share similar risks for interaction and side effects. It is used for treating high blood cholesterol levels.

Here’s a list of similar medications that share a similar level of risk when combined with CBD:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Pitavastatin (Livalo, Zypitamag)
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor & Ezalor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)
CBD oil container, dropper and hemp leaves, side to side over white background

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Lovastatin (Altoprev) Together?

CBD and lovastatin are unlikely to interact — however, because of the severity of side effects from this medication, it’s wise to avoid using CBD with statins until you’ve spoken with your prescribing doctor. 

Everybody is different, so it’s important for your doctor to look at your individual level of risk by assessing other medications, underlying conditions, and your prescribed dose of lovastatin. 

Is CBD A Viable Alternative to Lovastatin (Altoprev)?

CBD is not a viable alternative to lovastatin

CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and may help reduce hyperlipidemia-induced inflammation in the vascular system [1]. It may also help repair some of the damaged blood vessels and cardiovascular structures in the body.

CBD has also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by inhibiting the formation of some cholesteryl ester in the human fibroblasts and aortic medial cells in the body [2]. 

While CBD has shown promising potential to lower cholesterol levels in the body and reduce the effects of harmful cholesterol on the cardiovascular system, its abilities are not on par with statins like lovastatin. This means CBD isn’t strong enough to treat high cholesterol levels or reduce the risk of a heart attack

However, CBD may be a valuable adjunct supplement to use alongside lovastatin for managing high cholesterol and inflammation in the cardiovascular system.

What is Lovastatin (Altoprev)?

Lovastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor. It belongs to the statin class and is used to lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases. It’s often used to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke. Altoprev is one of its commonly used brands of lovastatin, but there are others as well. 

Lovastatin is an FDA-approved drug. It’s available as a prescription-only drug in most countries.  

Lovastatin (Altoprev) Specs:

Drug Name  Lovastatin
Trade Name Aztatin, Elstatin, Elstin, Favolip, Lestric, Lipistat, Lochol, Lostatin, Lotin, Lova, Lovacard, Lovadac, Lovalip, Lovameg, Lovastat, Lovastrol, Lovatin, Lovex, Mevacor
Classification Statins, HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
CYP Metabolism  CYP3A4
Interaction With CBD Metabolic competition, Agonistic 
Risk of Interaction  Moderate

What Does Lovastatin (Altoprev) do?

Lovastatin is a statin drug that works as an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. It’s used to lower low-density lipoprotein or LDL (commonly called “bad cholesterol”) and increase levels of high-density lipoprotein or HDL (commonly called “good cholesterol”).

Lovastatin is also used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and its associated conditions such as myocardial infarction and stroke, especially in those with moderate to high risk of developing these conditions. 

The active ingredient in lovastatin is a fungal metabolite derived synthetically from Aspergillus terreus. It works by inhibiting the endogenous production of cholesterol in the liver.

The drug works by competitively inhibiting the enzyme hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. This reductase enzyme catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonic acid. This conversion is the third step to produce several compounds involved in lipid metabolism and transport including LDL, and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Lovastatin stops this step, thus reducing the formation of these potentially harmful cholesterols. It also inhibits hepatic synthesis of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). 

Therapeutic doses of lovastatin are designed to preserve some HMG-CoA reductase activity. If this enzyme is blocked completely, it can interfere with normal functioning and can be fatal if blocked for too long.

While lovastatin is an effective drug to control cholesterol levels, it alone cannot ensure the proper health condition of the user. Hence, it should be given alongside a proper implementation of a minimum cholesterol diet. 

The effects of lovastatin become visible within two weeks of use, and the maximum effects occur within 4-6 weeks. 

Lovastatin also has vasculoprotective abilities, which include improving the functions of endothelium, better stability of atherosclerotic plaques, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, and inhibiting thrombus formation.

Side Effects of Lovastatin (Altoprev)

Lovastatin can cause myopathy, which manifests as muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. It can cause rhabdomyolysis with or without acute renal failure — a life-threatening condition.

This medication is contraindicated in users with hypersensitivity to lovastatin, acute liver disease, patients using drugs such as CYP3A4 inhibitors and CYP3A4 inducers. It isn’t safe to take while pregnant.  

Side Effects of Lovastatin (Altoprev)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) elevation
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspepsia
  • Fever
  • Flatulence
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Increased liver function tests
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Jaundice, yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • loss of appetite
  • Memory loss 
  • Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • Myalgia
  • Myopathy
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Weakness

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Take Lovastatin (Altoprev) With CBD?

CBD may compete against lovastatin by affecting its metabolism.

Do not take these two without consulting your doctor first. While chances of interaction are slim, the severity of side effects is a cause for concern.

CBD’s ability to fight inflammation and decrease the bad cholesterol level may allow it to be a useful adjunct alongside lovastatin. Some users report a reduction in side effects from lovastatin, such as myopathy, by taking CBD alongside lovastatin.


  1. Stanley, C. P., Hind, W. H., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2013). Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 75(2), 313-322. 
  2. Rimmerman, N., Juknat, A., Kozela, E., Levy, R., Bradshaw, H. B., & Vogel, Z. (2011). The non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid, cannabidiol, affects cholesterol metabolism-related genes in microglial cells. Cellular and molecular neurobiology, 31(6), 921-930.

Learn More About CBD-Drug Interactions

Learn More About CBD-Drug Interactions

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