Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 24, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antihyperlipidemic
Pharmacologic Class: HMG-COA Reductase Inhibitor
Uses for pitavastatin
Pitavastatin is used together with a proper diet to lower high cholesterol levels and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood and increase good cholesterol (HDL) in patients with primary hyperlipidemia or mixed dyslipidemia. Pitavastatin may help prevent medical problems (eg, heart attacks, strokes) that are caused by fat clogging the blood vessels. Livalo® is also used to treat heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia in children 8 years of age and older.
Pitavastatin belongs to the group of medicines called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins. It works to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood by blocking an enzyme that is needed to make cholesterol.
Pitavastatin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using pitavastatin
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 pitavastatin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to pitavastatin 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 have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Livalo® in children younger than 8 years of age with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or in children with other types of hyperlipidemia. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Zypitamag™ in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pitavastatin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of Zypitamag tablets than younger adults. Elderly patients are also more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, heart, and muscle problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving Livalo® tablets.
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using pitavastatin.
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 pitavastatin, 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 pitavastatin 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 pitavastatin 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 pitavastatin 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.
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 pitavastatin. 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
- Dehydration or
- Electrolyte disorders, severe or
- Endocrine disorders, severe or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), not adequately treated or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Major surgery, recent or
- Major trauma (injury), recent or
- Metabolic disorders, severe or
- Sepsis (severe infection in the blood)—Patients with these conditions may be at risk of developing muscle and kidney problems.
- Kidney disease, moderate to severe (eg, end-stage kidney disease)—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of the slower removal of the medicine from the body.
- Liver disease, active or
- Liver enzymes, unexplained persistently high levels—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of pitavastatin
Take pitavastatin only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
In addition to pitavastatin, 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.
You may take pitavastatin at any time of the day with or without food.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol while using pitavastatin. This could cause unwanted side effects on the liver.
The dose of pitavastatin 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 pitavastatin. 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 oral dosage form (tablets):
- For high cholesterol:
- Adults and children 8 years of age and older—At first, 2 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 4 mg per day.
- Children younger than 8 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- Adults—At first, 2 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 4 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For high cholesterol:
If you miss a dose of pitavastatin, 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.
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 pitavastatin
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 and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using pitavastatin 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.
Do not use cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) while you are using pitavastatin. Using these medicines together may cause serious side effects.
Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have unusual tiredness or a fever. These may be symptoms of serious muscle problems, such as myopathy or immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM).
Call your doctor right away if you have dark urine, diarrhea, a fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or feel very tired or weak. These could be symptoms of a serious muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney problems.
Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, light-colored stools, 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 pitavastatin. You may need to stop using pitavastatin if you have major tests, major surgery, a major injury, or if 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.
Pitavastatin 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:
- Difficulty with moving
- joint pain
- muscle ache, cramp, pain, or stiffness
- pain in the arms and legs
- swollen joints
Incidence not known
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- difficulty breathing
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- hives or welts, itching skin, or rash
- loss of appetite
- muscle spasm
- runny nose
- sore throat
- stomach pain
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
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:
- Back pain
- difficulty having a bowel movement
Incidence not known
- Burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- feeling sad or empty
- inability to have or keep an erection
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- loss of interest or pleasure
- loss of memory
- problems with memory
- redness of the skin
- trouble concentrating
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
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.
Frequently asked questions
More about pitavastatin
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- Drug class: statins
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