GENERIC NAME: Lovastatin

COMMON BRAND: Altoprev

Lovastatin comes under the drug class known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also known as statins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that act in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat the same conditions. Lovastatin is a prescription drug. It is available as an oral extended-release tablet form.

Statins work by reducing the body’s cholesterol production. They also decrease the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides running through the body. Lovastatin oral tablet is available as “Altoprev” (brand-name). It is also available in pharmacies as a generic drug. In some cases, they may not be available in all strength or form as the brand-name drug.

What are the uses of Lovastatin?

Lovastatin is used along with proper nutrition to lower “bad cholesterol” and fats (for example LDL, triglycerides) and increase “good cholesterol” (HDL). It acts by decreasing the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. The chances of heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks can be reduced by Lowering “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides and raising “good cholesterol”.

In addition to having proper nutrition (for example a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle modifications can help this medication work better include regular exercise, losing weight if overweight, and quitting smoking. Consult your doctor/physician for more details.

How to use Lovastatin?

This medication must be taken orally as directed by your doctor or pharmacist, usually once a day in the evening. If you are using the tablet form, you may take this medication with or without meals.

Dosage depends on your medical condition, age, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medical products you use (for example prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal product). Chinese patients taking niacin may need lower doses of lovastatin. Ask your doctor for further details.

If you are taking other cholesterol-lowering medications (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take lovastatin at least an hour before or 4 hours after taking these medications. These drugs can react with lovastatin, preventing its full absorption.

Do not increase your dose or take this medication frequently than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any sooner, and the chance of severe side effects can increase.

Eating/drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication must be avoided unless your doctor/physician advised. Grapefruit can increase the concentration of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further details.

Take this medication regularly to improve your condition. Do not forget to take it at the same time each day. It is essential to continue taking this medication even if you feel great. Most of the people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel ill.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about nutrition and exercise to get the maximum benefit of this drug.

What are the side effects of Lovastatin?

Your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has found that the benefits his medication is greater than the risk of side effects. Most of the people using this medication do not experience serious side effects.

A very few people taking lovastatin may experience little memory problems or confusion. If these rare outcomes occur, talk to your doctor.

Rarely, statins may induce or worsen diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.

This drug may rarely produce muscle problems (which can sometimes lead to severe conditions known as rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy). Inform your doctor at the earliest if you observe any of these below symptoms during treatment, and if these symptoms continue after your doctor advises you to stop this drug: muscle pain/weakness/tenderness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

This medication may rarely cause liver problems. If you see any of the following rare but severe side effects, tell your doctor immediately: yellow discoloration of eyes or skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.

A severe allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, seek immediate medical assistance if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing, severe dizziness.

This is not a list of all possible side effects. If you mark other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while taking of Lovastatin?

Before taking lovastatin, inform your doctor or physician if you are allergic to it, or if you have any other allergies. This product may include some inactive ingredients, which can produce allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for further details.

Before taking this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have liver disease, kidney disease or alcohol addiction.

Before having surgery, notify your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (for example prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Minimize the use of alcohol. Regular use of alcohol may increase your chance for liver problems, particularly when combined with lovastatin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

Older adults can be more susceptible to the side effects of this drug, particularly muscle problems.

This medication must be avoided in pregnancy. Lovastatin may harm an unborn baby. It is necessary to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for further details and to discuss the use of safe forms of birth control while taking this medication. If you get pregnant or think you may be pregnant, notify your doctor/physician as soon as possible.

There is no information whether this medication passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding while using this drug is not advised, because of the possible risk to the infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Lovastatin?

Also, see how to Use section.

Drug interactions may alter the action of your medication or increase your chance for serious side effects. This record does not have all possible interactions. Keep a list of all the medicine you use (for example prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and inform it to your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or alter the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s advice.

Some products may also interact with this drug such as danazol, gemfibrozil, “blood thinners” (such as warfarin) and cyclosporine.

Other medications can influence the removal of lovastatin from your body, which may affect the efficacy of lovastatin. Some of the examples include certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole), boceprevir, delavirdine, cobicistat, colchicine, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, HIV protease inhibitors (such as nelfinavir, ritonavir), telaprevir and telithromycin.

Avoid taking any red yeast rice products while you are using lovastatin because some red yeast rice products may also have a statin known as lovastatin. Using lovastatin and red yeast rice products together can boost your risk of severe muscle and liver problems.

WARNINGS:

This drug must strictly be avoided during pregnancy.

Your risk of serious liver damage increases if you drink more than two drinks per day.

If you have any kidney problem may not be able to eliminate this drug from your body. This may cause the accumulation of this drug in your body and cause serious effects (such as muscle problems).

This drug can cause liver damage, which could lead to liver failure.

If you have hypothyroidism that is not well controlled, you may be at high risk for muscle problems when using this drug.

What are the forms and strengths of Lovastatin?

Generic: Lovastatin
Form: Oral tablet, Immediate-release
Strengths: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg

Brand: Altoprev
Form: Oral tablet, Extended-release
Strengths: 20mg, 40mg, 60mg

What is the dosage of Lovastatin?

For Treatment and Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease:

Adults (18–64 years):

Immediate-release tablet:
Typical starting dosage: 20mg once per day with the evening meal.
Dosage range: 10–80mg per day.
Maximum dosage: 80mg per day.

Extended-release tablet:
Typical starting dosage: 20, 40, or 60mg once a day at bedtime.

Children (0–17 years):

There are no established studies in children below 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Immediate-release tablet:
If you are an older person, your body may process this drug slowly. Your doctor may start the treatment at a lower dosage to prevent drug build up in the body. Accumulation of the drug in your body can be deadly.

Extended-release tablet:
Typical starting dosage: 20mg once a day, at bedtime.

For Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol):

Adults (18–64 years):

Immediate-release tablet:
Typical starting dosage: 20mg once a day at bedtime.
Dosage range: 10–80mg a day.
Maximum dosage: 80mg a day.

Extended-release tablet:
Typical starting dosage: 20, 40, or 60mg once a day at bedtime.

Children (0–17 years):

Lovastatin has not been studied in children for this condition. It should not be used in children below 18 years.

Senior dosage (65 years and older):

Immediate-release tablet:
If you are an older person, your body may process this drug slowly. Your doctor may start the treatment at a lower dosage to prevent drug build up in the body. Accumulation of the drug in your body can be deadly.

Extended-release tablet:
Typical starting dosage: 20mg once a day, taken at bedtime.

For Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia:

Children (10–17 years):

Immediate-release tablet:
Dosage range: 10–40mg a day.
Maximum dosage: 40mg a day.
Extended-release tablet:
Lovastatin has not been studied in children for this condition. It should not be used in children below 18 years.

Most common questions asked about Lovastatin / Q&A’s:

What are the serious side effects of taking Lovastatin?

Some of the serious side effects of taking lovastatin are pain in muscles or tenderness, lack of energy, fever, yellow discoloration of the skin or eyes, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, nausea, weakness, extreme tiredness, loss of appetite, unusual bleeding or bruising, dark-colored urine, flu-like symptoms, rashes, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, hoarseness. Seek a medical emergency as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.