According to the FDA, those who take atorvastatin (Lipitor) should use precaution when consuming alcohol. Metabolism. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. What is the effect of statins on the liver? The use of statins alone, or in combination with pioglitazone and other drugs, for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and related cardiovascular risk. Take time to learn about the treatment options for alcoholism whether you are concerned about yourself or a friend or family member. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Atorvastatin may cause liver problems and using it with substantial quantities of ethanol may increase that risk. PCSK9 Inhibitors for Cholesterol—Are They Really Miracle Drugs? In addition, those who have liver disease due to chronic hepatitis C infections may respond better to medications (interferon) when they are given statins. (Of note is that alcohol worsens hepatitis C.). There are several different ways to explain how statins affect the liver, so let's look at changes in liver tests alone (no symptoms,) clinical liver disease (symptoms) related to statin use, severe liver disease, as well as how statins may actually reduce mortality in some people who already have liver disease. Grapefruit juice can increase the blood levels of atorvastatin. Statins: Actions, side effects, and administration. Lipitor and other statins may reduce your risk of heart disease, but alcohol, through causes such as alcoholic cardiomyopathy and much more, may worsen your risk. In one study looking at people with severe alcoholic liver disease, the use of statins halved the risk of death from alcoholic cirrhosis. Thankfully, you won't have to go very far to hear wonderful success stories from people who have been given a new lease on life after quitting. If you drink alcohol you should let your physician know. Certainly, severe liver injury is possible. Updated October 18, 2016. Our guide will show you what puts you at risk, and how to take control of your heart health. Did you know the most common forms of heart disease are largely preventable? The primary concern with alcohol in people using Lipitor, however, is likely the host of other problems that are found with alcohol alone. al. Subscribe Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, M.D. An Expert Panel Statement. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Avoid drinking alcohol. By using Verywell Health, you accept our, How Zocor (Simvastatin) Works to Lower Your Cholesterol, Preventing Heart Failure With Lifestyle Changes, Learn About Taking Lipitor or Zocor With Grapefruit Juice, Preventing Heart Failure After Heart Attack, Crestor: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, Interactions, What You Should Know About Statin Drug Interactions, Side Effects of Statin Drugs for Cholesterol, Statin Drugs May Not Be Beneficial for Some Older Adults, General Information About Livalo (Pitavastatin), Possible Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking. Of course, alcohol has plenty of calories, something that also increases the risk of heart disease. The real question comes down to, "Do you have a problem with alcohol?" Increased liver function tests are not the only possible side effect. 71:17-32. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2017.02.014, Athyros VG, et. Studies have found that some people who use Lipitor have an elevation of the liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). 2017. What most people really want to know is, "Can I have a beer or two or a glass of wine while I'm taking statins? 2017;71:17-32. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2017.02.014, Janicko M, Drazilova S, Pella D, Fedacko J, Jarcuska P. Pleiotropic effects of statins in the diseases of the liver.