Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Lescol XL
Available Dosage Forms:
- Tablet, Extended Release
Therapeutic Class: Antihyperlipidemic
Pharmacologic Class: HMG-COA Reductase Inhibitor
Uses For This Medicine
Fluvastatin is used together with a proper diet to lower high cholesterol and triglycerides (fats) in the blood. Fluvastatin may help prevent medical problems, like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), that are caused by fats clogging the blood vessels. It may also be used to prevent certain types of heart and blood vessel problems in patients with risk factors for heart problems.
Fluvastatin belongs to the group of medicines called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins. It works by blocking an enzyme that is needed by the body to make cholesterol, which reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Fluvastatin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For fluvastatin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to fluvastatin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of fluvastatin in children 10 to 16 years of age. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 10 years of age.
Teenage girls taking fluvastatin should be counseled on appropriate birth control methods to prevent pregnancy.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of fluvastatin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related muscle problems, which may require caution in patients receiving fluvastatin.
|All Trimesters||X||Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.|
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using fluvastatin.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking fluvastatin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using fluvastatin with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using fluvastatin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Fenofibric Acid
Using fluvastatin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Oat Bran
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of fluvastatin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse, or history of or
- Diabetes or
- Liver disease, history of—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Convulsions (seizures), not well-controlled or
- Electrolyte disorder, severe or
- Endocrine disorder, severe or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), not adequately treated or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Major surgery or
- Major trauma (injury) or
- Metabolic disorder, severe or
- Sepsis (severe infection in the blood)—Patients with these conditions may be at risk of developing muscle and kidney problems.
- Liver disease, active or
- Liver enzymes, persistently high levels—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take fluvastatin only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
In addition to fluvastatin, your doctor may change your diet to one that is low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol. Carefully follow your doctor's orders about any special diet.
Take the capsule at the same time every evening. You may take the extended-release tablet at any time of the day.
You may take fluvastatin with or without food.
Take the capsule at the same time every evening or if you take it twice a day take it in the morning and evening. You may take the extended-release tablet at any time of the day.
Do not open the capsule before taking it. Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
Fluvastatin comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol while taking fluvastatin. This could cause liver damage.
The dose of fluvastatin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of fluvastatin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For high cholesterol:
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- Adults—At first, 20 or 40 milligrams (mg) once a day in the evening. Some patients may need 40 mg two times a day (one in the morning and one in the evening). Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
- Children 10 to 16 years of age—At first, 20 mg once a day in the evening. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 40 mg two times a day (one in the morning and one in the evening).
- Children younger than 10 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
- Adults—80 milligrams (mg) once a day.
- Children 10 to 16 years of age—80 mg once a day.
- Children younger than 10 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
If you miss a dose of fluvastatin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Do not take fluvastatin if it has been more than 12 hours since you missed your last dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using fluvastatin 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.
Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. These may be symptoms of serious muscle problems, such as myopathy or immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM).
Check with your doctor right away if you have dark-colored urine, diarrhea, a fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or feel very tired or weak. These could be symptoms of a muscle condition called rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to serious kidney problems.
Check with your doctor right away if you get a headache, stomach pain, vomiting, dark-colored urine, loss of appetite, weight loss, general feeling of tiredness or weakness, light-colored stools, upper right stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of liver damage.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you use fluvastatin. You may need to stop using fluvastatin if you have major surgery, a major injury, or you develop other serious health problems.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches and pain
- runny nose
- sore throat
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- cough producing mucus
- dark-colored urine
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with moving
- difficulty with swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- frequent urge to urinate
- lower back or side pain
- muscle cramps, spasms, or stiffness
- muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
- pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- skin rash
- tightness in the chest
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Acid or sour stomach
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- Bloated or full feeling
- excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- passing gas
- unable to sleep
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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