Chinese red rice-induced myopathy

South Med J. 2003 Dec;96(12):1265-7. doi: 10.1097/01.SMJ.0000100117.79718.DC.


A middle-aged man presented with joint pain and muscle weakness that had begun 2 months before presentation. Three months before presentation, he had begun to take the herbal preparation Chinese red rice. Laboratory testing revealed a moderately elevated creatine phosphokinase level. Symptoms and laboratory abnormalities resolved with discontinuation of the Chinese red rice. Eight months later, he resumed the product and his creatine phosphokinase level rose again. Lovastatin is a naturally occurring component of Chinese red rice and was the probable cause of his myopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Ascomycota
  • Biological Products / adverse effects*
  • Biological Products / chemistry
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lovastatin / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / chemically induced*


  • Biological Products
  • red yeast rice
  • Lovastatin
  • Creatine Kinase