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Lovastatin Oral tablet, extended-release

What is this medicine?

LOVASTATIN (LOE va sta tin) is known as a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or 'statin'. It lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. This drug may also reduce the risk of heart attack or other health problems in patients with risk factors for heart disease. Diet and lifestyle changes are often used with this drug.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water in the evening at bedtime. Do not crush or chew. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • dark urine

  • fever

  • joint pain

  • muscle cramps, pain

  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • unusually weak or tired

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation

  • headache

  • stomach gas, pain, upset

  • nausea

  • trouble sleeping

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • clarithromycin

  • delavirdine

  • erythromycin

  • grapefruit juice

  • herbal medicines like red yeast rice

  • protease inhibitors used to treat HIV infection

  • medicines for fungal infections like itraconazole, ketoconazole

  • mibefradil

  • nefazodone

  • other medicines for high cholesterol

  • telithromycin

  • troleandomycin

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol

  • amiodarone

  • cyclosporine

  • danazol

  • diltiazem

  • fenofibrate

  • fluconazole

  • gemfibrozil

  • mifepristone, RU-486

  • niacin

  • St. John's wort

  • verapamil

  • voriconazole

  • warfarin

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can if it is still the same day. Otherwise, wait until your next evening dose and get back on your normal schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Avoid exposure to heat. Keep container tightly closed (protect from moisture). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • frequently drink alcoholic beverages

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • muscle aches or weakness

  • other medical condition

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lovastatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check-ups. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.

Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you get any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever and tiredness. Your doctor or health care professional may tell you to stop taking this medicine if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medicine, contact your health care professional.

This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

Do not use this drug if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Serious side effects to an unborn child or to an infant are possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

If you are going to have surgery tell your health care professional that you are taking this drug.

Some drugs may increase the risk of side effects from lovastatin. If you are given certain antibiotics or antifungals, your doctor or health care professional may stop lovastatin for a short time. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 11/6/2012
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.