Generic Name: fluvastatin (FLOO va sta tin)
Brand Name: Lescol, Lescol XL
What is fluvastatin?
Fluvastatin is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or "statins." Fluvastatin reduces levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).
Fluvastatin is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood and to slow the build-up of plaque (fatty deposits) in your blood vessels.
Fluvastatin is also used to lower the risk of heart complications in certain people with coronary artery disease.
Fluvastatin is used in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.
Fluvastatin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about fluvastatin?
This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use fluvastatin if you are pregnant.
You should not take fluvastatin if you have liver disease, or if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with fluvastatin. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking fluvastatin?
You should not take fluvastatin if you are allergic to it, or if:
you have active liver disease; or
you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
To make sure fluvastatin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a history of liver disease;
muscle pain or weakness;
a thyroid disorder; or
if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.
Fluvastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
The following drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems if you take them together with fluvastatin:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
cyclosporine or other drugs that weaken your immune system;
gemfibrozil, fenofibric acid, fenofibrate; or
medicines that contain niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others).
Fluvastatin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not take fluvastatin if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking this medicine.
Fluvastatin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking fluvastatin.
Fluvastatin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 10 years old.
How should I take fluvastatin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Fluvastatin is usually taken once or twice daily, with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing the pill.
While using fluvastatin, you may need frequent blood tests.
It may take up to 4 weeks before your cholesterol levels improve. Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High cholesterol usually has no symptoms.
Fluvastatin is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 12 hours late, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking fluvastatin?
Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Fluvastatin will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol lowering diet plan.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.
Fluvastatin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, fluvastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark colored urine.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
signs of a kidney problem--little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath; or
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
stomach pain, nausea, or indigestion.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Fluvastatin dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia:
Initial dose: 20 to 40 mg orally once a day at bedtime.
Maintenance dose: 20 to 80 mg/day.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Hyperlipidemia:
9 to 16 years:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally once a day at bedtime.
Maintenance dose: 20 to 80 mg/day.
What other drugs will affect fluvastatin?
Many other drugs can increase your risk of muscle problems if you take them with fluvastatin. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with fluvastatin. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
More about fluvastatin
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about fluvastatin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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