Abdominal pain may occur when taking red yeast rice, as well as rare but serious side effects that include: muscle pain, tenderness and weakness with fever or tiredness, changes in the amount of urine, and persistent nausea and vomiting, states WebMD. Yellowing of the eyes and skin is also possible.
While a serious allergic reaction to red yeast rice is rare, immediate medical attention is required if individuals notice a rash, itching or swelling of the face, tongue and throat, severe dizziness and trouble breathing, cautions WebMD. Inactive ingredients in the product may cause allergic reactions. Some red yeast products contain lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering statin. Large doses of statins can cause serious side effects, such as muscle and liver problems. Individuals using statin drugs should avoid red yeast rice products. Individuals who have kidney or liver disease should consult their doctor or pharmacist before using the product.
When combined with red yeast rice, daily use of alcohol may increase the risk of liver problems, explains WebMD. Red yeast rice may harm an unborn baby and should be avoided during pregnancy. Breast-feeding while using this product is not recommended because it is not known if red yeast rice passes into breast milk.