cerivastatin, Baycol

What is cerivastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Cerivastatin is a drug that lowers cholesterol in the blood by blocking the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for producing cholesterol. It lowers total cholesterol as well as the LDL subfraction of cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is believed to be the "bad" cholesterol that is primarily responsible for the development of coronary artery disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels retards and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Cerivastatin is in the same class of drugs (HMGCoA reductase inhibitors) as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and fluvastatin (Lescol). Cerivastatin was approved by the FDA in 1997.

What brand names are available for cerivastatin?


Is cerivastatin available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for cerivastatin?


What are the side effects of cerivastatin?

Cerivastatin generally is well-tolerated, and side effects are rare. Minor side effects include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, gas, heartburn, nasal congestion, and headache. Cerivastatin should be used with caution in patients with alcoholic or other liver diseases. Persistently abnormal liver tests during treatment are rare but may require discontinuation of the medication. Rare cases of muscle damage due to inflammation (myositis) have been reported with other drugs in the same class as cerivastatin, and is presumed also to occur with cerivastatin as well. (Muscle inflammation causes the release of muscle protein, myoglobin, into the blood where it is carried to the kidneys and leads to kidney failure.)

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