cerivastatin, Baycol (cont.)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: no

PRESCRIPTION: yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets, 0.3mg, 0.4mg, and 0.8mg.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30°C (59-86°F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Cerivastatin is used for the treatment of high blood cholesterol. Elevated blood cholesterol first is treated with exercise, weight loss, and a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats. If these measures fail to reduce the cholesterol adequately, cholesterol-lowering medications such as cerivastatin may be added. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has published treatment guidelines for using drugs such as cerivastatin. These guidelines recommend treatment depending on the level of LDL cholesterol as well as the presence of other risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, low HDL cholesterol level (the "good" cholesterol), and family history of early coronary heart disease. The effectiveness of cerivastatin in lowering cholesterol is dose-related, that is, the higher the dose the greater the lowering of cholesterol. Blood cholesterol determinations are performed at regular intervals during treatment so that the dose may be adjusted.



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