Skip to Content

Fluvastatin Side Effects

In Summary

More frequently reported side effects include: dyspepsia, myalgia, and accidental injury. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to fluvastatin: oral capsule, oral tablet extended release

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by fluvastatin. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking fluvastatin:

More common:
  • Chills
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches and pain
  • nausea
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • sore throat
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
Less common:
  • 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
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • hives
  • itching
  • 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

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with fluvastatin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
Less common:
  • 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to fluvastatin: oral capsule, oral tablet extended release


Hepatic side effects of fluvastatin include elevations in liver function tests (1.1%). Other hepatic side effects reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors include hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, fatty changes in the liver, cirrhosis, hepatoma, and fulminant hepatic necrosis.[Ref]

Persistent elevations in liver function tests three times normal values were reported in up to 1.1% of patients of fluvastatin in clinical trials. This led to discontinuation of fluvastatin in 0.7% of patients. The majority of these patients were asymptomatic.

Liver function tests should be closely monitored. It is recommended that fluvastatin be discontinued in patients with persistent, significant elevations (three times normal) in liver function parameters.

Carcinogenicity studies in animals have demonstrated that liver tumors can be induced in rodents with long-term HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. However, a recent carcinogenicity study in animals receiving fluvastatin found no evidence of liver tumors.

The manufacturer reports that the incidence of increased transaminase levels was not increased in patients who took the 80 mg dose of fluvastatin versus lower doses. Of 343 patients treated with the 80 mg dose for an average of 51 weeks, 6 patients (1.7%) discontinued fluvastatin due to AST and/or ALT elevations. The overall incidence of transaminase elevations with the 80 mg dose was 0.9% compared with 1.0% with all fluvastatin dosages in controlled trials. This data was extracted from the Fluvastatin Long-Term Extension Trial (FLUENT), 1994.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included elevations in creatine kinase, myopathy, back pain, and arthropathy. Rhabdomyolysis with renal dysfunction secondary to myoglobinuria has been reported with fluvastatin and other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Musculoskeletal side effects reported with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have included arthralgia, tendon rupture, dermatomyositis, and myalgia.

In addition, some data have suggested that exposure to HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors is associated with a decreased risk of bone fractures in persons older than 50 years of age.[Ref]

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have been associated with rare cases of severe myopathy and rhabdomyolysis, accompanied by increases in creatine kinase, myoglobinuria, proteinuria, and renal failure. Concomitant use with gemfibrozil (fibric acid derivatives), niacin, cyclosporine, erythromycin (macrolides) or azole antifungals may increase the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal side effects. Other variables associated with an increased risk of statin-induced myopathy include, advanced age, small body stature, female gender, renal and/or hepatic dysfunction, perioperative periods, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and alcoholism.

Milder forms of myotoxicity (i.e., myalgia) are commonly reported and occur in approximately 5% to 7% of patients taking a statin drug.

Patients should be instructed to report symptoms of muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness. If such symptoms develop, creatine kinase should be measured, and if elevated, fluvastatin should be discontinued. The value of regular monitoring of creatine kinase is not known.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included dyspepsia (8.1%), diarrhea (6.0%), abdominal pain (5.5%), nausea, constipation, and flatulence. Other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have been associated with pancreatitis, anorexia, and vomiting.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects including hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), and leukopenia have occurred with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. These effects may be manifestations of a hypersensitivity reaction.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (8.7%), fatigue (3.5%), and dizziness (2.5%). Other nervous system side effects reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors include cranial nerve dysfunction, tremor, vertigo, drowsiness, weight loss, decline in cognitive function, memory loss, paresthesias, peripheral neuropathy, and peripheral nerve palsy.[Ref]


Dermatologic effects have included rash (2.7%). Alopecia and pruritus have been reported with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity syndrome has been rarely reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and is characterized by one or more symptoms, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, vasculitis, purpura, thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, positive ANA, ESR increase, eosinophilia, urticaria, and asthenia.[Ref]


Halkin, et al report a case in which use of both lovastatin and pravastatin on different occasions in the same patient lead to reversible impotence. The impotence resolved within 2 weeks after discontinuation of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor.[Ref]

Genitourinary side effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have included erectile dysfunction, impotence, and testicular pain.[Ref]


Oncologic side effects including tumor growth in rodents have been associated with many lipid-lowering drugs. Fluvastatin has been specifically associated with thyroid and stomach adenomas in the rat and mouse. Long-term clinical trials are needed to define the risk of cancer in humans.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects associated with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have included hypospermia, gynecomastia and thyroid function abnormalities. In addition, acid maltase deficiency (the genetic disorder also referred to as Pompe's Disease) has been revealed following HMG-CoA therapy in at least one presymptomatic patient.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects associated with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have included decreased libido, anxiety, insomnia, depression, suicidal thoughts, delusions, paranoia, agitation, and nightmares.[Ref]


Renal side effects including acute renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis has been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.[Ref]


1. Langtry HD, Markham A "Fluvastatin - A review of its use in lipid disorders." Drugs 57 (1999): 583-606

2. Robison RL, Suter W, Cox RH "Carcinogenicity and mutagenicity studies with fluvastatin, a new, entirely synthetic HMG-coa reductase inhibitor." Fundam Appl Toxicol 23 (1994): 9-20

3. "Product Information. Lescol (fluvastatin)." Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ.

4. Davidson MH, on behalf of the FLUENT Investigators Group "Fluvastatin long-term extension trial (FLUENT): summary of efficacy and safety." Am J Med 96 Suppl (1994): 96 (suppl)

5. Jokubaitis LA "Updated clinical safety experience with fluvastatin." Am J Cardiol 73 (1994): d18-24

6. Zavoral JH, Haggerty BJ, Winick AG, Bergmann SD "Efficacy of fluvastatin, a totally synthetic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase inhibitor." Am J Cardiol 76 (1995): a37-40

7. Levy RI, Troendle AJ, Fattu JM "A quarter century of drug treatment of dyslipoproteinemia, with a focus on the new HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor fluvastatin." Circulation 87 (1993): i45-53

8. Sinzinger H, Wolfram R, Peskar BA "Muscular side effects of statins." J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 40 (2002): 163-71

9. Benghozi R, Bortolini M, Jia Y, Isaacsohn JL, Troendle AJ, Gonasun L "Frequency of creatine kinase elevation during treatment with fluvastatin." Am J Cardiol 89 (2002): 231-3

10. Graham DJ, Staffa JA, Shatin D, et al. "Incidence of hospitalized rhabdomyolysis in patients treated with lipid-lowering drugs." JAMA 292 (2004): 2585-90

11. Plosker GL, Wagstaff AJ "Fluvastatin: a review of its pharmacology and use in the management of hypercholesterolaemia." Drugs 51 (1996): 433-59

12. Meier CR, Schlienger RG, Kraenzlin ME, Schlegel B, Jick H "HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and the risk of fractures." JAMA 283 (2000): 3205-10

13. Grundy SM "Can statins cause chronic low-grade myopathy?" Ann Intern Med 137 (2002): 617-8

14. Arora R, Liebo M, Maldonado F "Statin-induced myopathy: the two faces of Janus." J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther 11 (2006): 105-12

15. Gonyeau MJ "Statins and osteoporosis: a clinical review." Pharmacotherapy 25 (2005): 228-43

16. Omar MA, Wilson JP "FDA adverse event reports on statin-associated rhabdomyolysis." Ann Pharmacother 36 (2002): 288-95

17. Modi JR, Cratty MS "Fluvastatin-induced rhabdomyolysis." Ann Pharmacother 36 (2002): 1870-4

18. Finsterer J, Zuntner G "Rhabdomyolysis from Simvastatin triggered by infection and muscle exertion." South Med J 98 (2005): 827-9

19. Mukhtar RY, Reckless JP "Statin-induced myositis: a commonly encountered or rare side effect?" Curr Opin Lipidol 16 (2005): 640-7

20. "Summaries for patients. Muscle abnormalities in four patients taking statins to treat unfavorable cholesterol levels." Ann Intern Med 137 (2002): I45

21. de Denus S, Spinler SA, Miller K, Peterson AM "Statins and liver toxicity: a meta-analysis." Pharmacotherapy 24 (2004): 584-91

22. Sundram F, Roberts P, Kennedy B, Pavord S "Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with statin treatment." Postgrad Med J 80 (2004): 551-2

23. Robbins MJ, Iqbal A, Hershman R "Lovastatin-induced hemolytic anemia: not a class-specific reaction." Am J Med 99 (1995): 328-9

24. Padala KP, Padala PR, Potter JF "Simvastatin-induced decline in cognition." Ann Pharmacother 40 (2006): 1880-3

25. Gaist D, Jeppesen U, Andersen M, Garcia Rodriguez LA, Hallas J, Sindrup SH "Statins and risk of polyneuropathy: a case-control study." Neurology 58 (2002): 1333-7

26. Galatti L, Polimeni G, Salvo F, Romani M, Sessa A, Spina E "Short-term memory loss associated with rosuvastatin." Pharmacotherapy 26 (2006): 1190-2

27. Muldoon MF, Ryan CM, Sereika SM, Flory JD, Manuck SB "Randomized trial of the effects of simvastatin on cognitive functioning in hypercholesterolemic adults." Am J Med 117 (2004): 823-9

28. Halkin A, Lossos IS, Mevorach D "HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor-induced impotence." Ann Pharmacother 30 (1996): 192

29. Newman TB, Hulley SB "Carcinogenicity of lipid-lowering drugs." JAMA 275 (1996): 55-60

30. Voermans NC, Lammens M, Wevers RA, Hermus AR, van Engelen BG "Statin-disclosed acid maltase deficiency." J Intern Med 258 (2005): 196-7

31. Morales K, Wittink M, Datto C, et al. "Simvastatin causes changes in affective processes in elderly volunteers." J Am Geriatr Soc 54 (2006): 70-6

32. Gregoor PJ "Atorvastatin may cause nightmares." BMJ 332 (2006): 950

33. van Puijenbroek EP, Du Buf-Vereijken PW, Spooren PF, van Doormaal JJ "Possible increased risk of rhabdomyolysis during concomitant use of simvastatin and gemfibrozil." J Intern Med 240 (1996): 403-4

34. Vanpuijenbroek EP, Dubufvereijken PWG, Spooren PFMJ, Vandoormaal JJ "Possible increased risk of rhabdomyolysis during concomitant use of simvastatin and gemfibrozil." J Intern Med 240 (1996): 403-4

35. Alvarez JM, Rawdanowiz TJ, Goldstein J "Rhadbdomyolysis after coronary artery bypass grafting in a patient receiving simvastatin." J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 116 (1998): 654-5

Not all side effects for fluvastatin may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.