Lovastatin : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?
Lovastatin is used along with diet, weight loss, and exercise to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and to decrease the chance that heart surgery will be needed in people who have heart disease or are at risk of developing heart disease. cardiac. Lovastatin is also used to lower the amount of cholesterol (a fat-like substance) and other fatty substances in the blood. Lovastatin belongs to a class of medications called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by reducing the production of cholesterol in the body to decrease the amount of cholesterol that can build up on the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.

The buildup of cholesterol and fats along the walls of your arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and therefore the supply of oxygen to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. Lowering the level of cholesterol and fat in the blood with lovastatin can help prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.

How should this medicine be used?
Lovastatin comes as a tablet and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The regular tablet is usually taken once or twice a day with meals. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day before bedtime. Take lovastatin at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lovastatin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

Your doctor may start with a low dose of lovastatin and gradually increase your dose, no more than once every 4 weeks.

Keep taking lovastatin even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking lovastatin without consulting your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking lovastatin,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lovastatin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in lovastatin tablets or extended-release tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend); boceprevir (Victrelis); clarithromycin (Biaxin); medicines containing cobicistat (Stribild); erythromycin (E.E.S., EryC); nefazodone; certain HIV protease inhibitors, including atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), saquinavir ( Invirase) and tipranavir (Aptivus); telaprevir (Incivek); and telithromycin (Ketek). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take lovastatin if you are taking one or more of these medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); cimetidine (Tagamet); colchicine (Colcrys); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); danazol (Danocrine); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); dronedarone (Multaq); other cholesterol-lowering medications such as fenofibrate (Tricor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor, Niaspan); spironolactone (Aldactone); ranolazine (Ranexa); and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan). Many other medications can also interact with lovastatin, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even the ones not listed here. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor will order lab tests to see how well your liver is working, even if he doesn’t think you have liver disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take lovastatin if you have liver disease or if tests show that you may be developing liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you have more than two alcoholic beverages a day, if you are 65 years of age or older, if you have ever had liver disease or if you have or have had seizures, muscle aches or weakness, low blood pressure, diabetes or renal disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while taking lovastatin. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you become pregnant while taking lovastatin, stop taking lovastatin and call your doctor immediately. Lovastatin can harm the fetus.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are taking this medicine.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking lovastatin. If you are hospitalized for a serious injury or infection, tell your treating doctor that you are taking lovastatin.
  • Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while taking lovastatin. Alcohol can increase the risk of serious side effects.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Eat a diet low in fat and cholesterol. Be sure to follow all of the diet and exercise recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. You can also visit the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) website for additional dietary information at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf.

Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking lovastatin.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Lovastatin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • constipation
  • memory loss or forgetfulness
  • confusion

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical help:

  • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • lack of energy
  • weakness
  • fever
  • dark colored urine
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • extreme tiredness
  • nausea
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • loss of appetite
  • flu-like symptoms
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness

Lovastatin can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in its container, tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local recycling / trash department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.

What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order lab tests during your treatment, especially if you have symptoms of liver damage.

Before having a laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking lovastatin.

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Altocor®
  • Altoprev®
  • Mevacor®

Brand names of combination products

  • Advicor® (containing Lovastatin, Niacin)

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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