Awareness of statin–food interactions using grapefruit as an example: a cross-sectional study in Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia

Mohamed A Baraka, Mohamed Hassan Elnaem, Ramadan Elkalmi, Adel Sadeq, Asim Ahmed Elnour, Royes Joseph Chacko, Abdullah H ALQarross, Mahmoud M AbdRabo Moustafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to assess patients’ knowledge regarding statin–grapefruit interactions, to identify any pertinent demographic characteristics that may influence knowledge of this drug–food interaction, and to identify preferred patient sources of health information.

A cross-sectional study was conducted to collect data from statins users about the awareness regarding drug interaction with foods. Self-administered questionnaires have been distributed to collect data from statins users regardless of the type and the reason they administer these medications. Respondents were statins users visiting the King Fahd Hospital’s outpatient clinic (KFHU) and community pharmacies in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

Key findings
Our study revealed that 62% of statin users never heard about the statin–grapefruit interaction. Only 11% have correctly recognized the interaction effect. Only 11, 21 and 6% of users have reported that they often/always received information on drug–food interaction from pharmacists, physicians and nurses, respectively. Users aged above 60 years had lower awareness than those aged <40 (6.0% vs. 14.1%). Similarly, the proportion was lower among users who had primary or lower educational attainment, unemployed or had income lower than 5000 SAR compared with that among the contrary groups. However, only income showed a statistically significant association (P = 0.007).

The majority of statin users have never heard about their interaction with food. Geriatrics, low-income and less educated patients had a lower level of awareness compared with their counterparts. Many patients may end up discontinuing their medications because of that interaction and the consequent side effects. Pharmacists are requested to play their expected role in providing adequate patient counselling to help improve patients’ awareness regarding safety concerns of statins medication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
Issue number4
Early online date17 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Nov 2021


  • clinical pharmacist
  • statins
  • drug interactions
  • rational medication use
  • awareness


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