Generic Name: lovastatin (LOE-va-STAT-in)
Brand Name: Mevacor
Lovastatin is used for:
Lowering high cholesterol in certain patients. It is used along with an appropriate diet. It is used in certain patients to reduce the risk of heart attack and chest pain caused by angina. It is also used to slow blood vessel blockage and to reduce the need for medical procedures to open blocked heart blood vessels. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Lovastatin is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also known as a "statin." It works by reducing the production of certain fatty substances in the body, including cholesterol.
Do NOT use lovastatin if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in lovastatin
- you have liver problems or unexplained abnormal liver function tests
- you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- you are taking certain azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole), cyclosporine, gemfibrozil, certain macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin), mibefradil, mifepristone, nefazodone, protease inhibitors (eg, boceprevir, ritonavir), or telithromycin
- you are taking conivaptan or have taken it within the past 7 days
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using lovastatin:
Some medical conditions may interact with lovastatin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are able to become pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have low blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes, low thyroid function, muscle problems (eg, pain, weakness), metabolism problems, hormonal problems, or electrolyte problems
- if you drink alcohol or have a history of seizures, liver problems, or alcohol abuse
- if you have a certain type of high cholesterol (homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia)
- if you are scheduled for major surgery, have recently had major surgery or a serious injury, or have a serious infection
- if you have had an organ transplant and you are taking medicine to suppress a rejection reaction
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with lovastatin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Amiodarone; colchicine; conivaptan; cyclosporine; danazol; daptomycin; delavirdine; diltiazem; dronedarone; fibrates (eg, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate); fluconazole, voriconazole, or other azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole); fusidic acid; imatinib; macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin); mibefradil; mifepristone; nefazodone; niacin; protease inhibitors (eg, boceprevir, ritonavir); ranolazine; streptogramins (eg, dalfopristin); telithromycin; ticagrelor; or verapamil because they may increase the risk of lovastatin's side effects, including serious muscle problems
- Bosentan, carbamazepine, efavirenz, rifamycins (eg, rifampin), or St. John's wort because they may decrease lovastatin's effectiveness
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), cimetidine, sirolimus, spironolactone, or tacrolimus because the risk of their side effects may be increased by lovastatin
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if lovastatin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use lovastatin:
Use lovastatin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take lovastatin by mouth with food.
- Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may increase the amount of lovastatin in your blood, which may increase your risk for serious side effects. The risk may be greater with large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Avoid large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (eg, more than one quart daily). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking lovastatin.
- Continue to take lovastatin even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of lovastatin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use lovastatin.
Important safety information:
- Lovastatin may cause dizziness or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use lovastatin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Lovastatin may cause liver problems. Rarely, severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have been reported in patients taking "statin" medicines, including lovastatin. Your risk of developing liver problems may be greater if you drink alcohol daily or in large amounts with lovastatin or if you have a history of liver problems. Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol while you are taking lovastatin. Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain; unusual tiredness; yellowing of the skin or eyes).
- Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take lovastatin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Women who may become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking lovastatin. Check with your doctor if you have questions about using birth control.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Muscle problems (myopathy) may occur with lovastatin. Report any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness to your doctor right away, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort. Tell your doctor if you have muscle problems that persist even after your doctor has told you to stop taking lovastatin.
- Diabetes patients - Lovastatin may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Lab tests, including blood cholesterol levels, liver function, and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) blood levels, may be performed while you use lovastatin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use lovastatin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially serious muscle problems.
- Lovastatin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years old and in those who have not reached puberty; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use lovastatin if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if lovastatin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking lovastatin.
Possible side effects of lovastatin:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain; confusion; decreased urination; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; memory problems; mental or mood changes (eg, depression); muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (with or without fever or fatigue); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); shortness of breath; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain; unusual tiredness; yellowing of the skin or eyes); tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Store lovastatin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep lovastatin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about lovastatin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Lovastatin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take lovastatin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about lovastatin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to lovastatin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using lovastatin.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More lovastatin resources
- lovastatin Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Lovastatin Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Lovastatin Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Lovastatin Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Altocor Consumer Overview
- Altoprev Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Mevacor Prescribing Information (FDA)