Lovastatin (By mouth)

Introduction

Lovastatin (loe-va-STAT-in)

Lowers high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Also helps prevent heart attack or strokes. Also helps keep atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) from getting worse. This medicine is an HMG-CoA inhibitor (statin).

Brand Name(s)

Altoprev, Mevacor

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to lovastatin, if you have active liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use lovastatin if you also take any of the following medicines: boceprevir (Victrelis®), nefazodone (Serzone®), telaprevir (Incivek®), certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole, Nizoral®), or medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Kaletra®, Lexiva®, Norvir®, Prezista®, Reyataz®).

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Take the regular tablet with food. Take the extended-release tablet without food.
  • Take the medicine in the evening, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about diet and exercise. This medicine is part of a complete plan for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use amiodarone (Cordarone®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), colchicine (Colcrys®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), danazol (Danocrine®), diltiazem (Cardizem®), dronedarone (Multaq®), niacin (Vitamin B3), ranolazine (Ranexa®), spironolactone (Aldactone®), verapamil (Calan®, Covera®, Isoptin®), medicine to treat fungus infections (such as fluconazole, voriconazole, Diflucan®, Vfend®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®). Tell your doctor if you use other medicine for lowering cholesterol (such as fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, Lopid®, Tricor®).
  • Tell your doctor if you usually drink more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day or if you drink grapefruit juice.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, diabetes, low blood pressure, muscle pain or weakness, or thyroid problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease or if you drink alcohol regularly.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. These could be symptoms of a serious muscle problem called myopathy.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have dark-colored urine, fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These could be symptoms of a serious muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney problems.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you use this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine if you have major surgery, a major injury, or you develop other serious health problems.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • Unusual tiredness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Confusion or problems with memory
  • Headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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