The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Herb-drug interaction between baicalin and rosuvastatin

    Baicalin (Chinese skullcap) comes from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. This anti-inflammatory herbal is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer, liver disease, allergies, skin conditions, and epilepsy. Rosuvastatin (Crestor) is a member of the stain class of drugs used to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

    First, the details from a study by researchers at Central South University in the People’s Republic of China

    • 18 healthy volunteers received each treatment.
    • Rosuvastatin (20 mg by mouth) plus placebo or 50-mg baicalin tablets (3 times daily for 14 days).
    • The ability to absorb rosuvastatin into the blood was determined after each treatment.

    And, the results.

    • After baicalin treatment, the ability of the body to absorb rosuvastatin (bioavailability) decreased significantly.

    The bottom line?
    Certain people are more susceptible to this interaction. Those with the organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) in their intestines experienced the greatest decrease in rosuvastatin bioavailability. Those with OATP1B1 1b/1b or 1b/15 experienced significantly less of a decrease in bioavailability.

    From a practical perspective, your healthcare provider is unlikely to test for this enzyme. Therefore, all patients taking Chinese skullcap should make this information known before starting rosuvastatin treatment.

    I do not know if this interaction occurs with other statins, nor how much the interaction affects the LDL cholesterol response to rosuvastatin.

    9/13/07 15:14 JR

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