- What is fluvastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for fluvastatin?
- What are the side effects of fluvastatin?
- What is the dosage for fluvastatin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fluvastatin?
- Is fluvastatin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fluvastatin?
What is fluvastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Fluvastatin is an oral, cholesterol-lowering drug. It belongs to a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, commonly called "statins." Other statins include lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor). Statins reduce cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver (HMG-CoA reductase) that is necessary for the production of cholesterol. In the blood, statins lower total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol as well as triglycerides. LDL cholesterol is believed to be an important cause of coronary artery disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels slows and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Statins also increase HDL ("good") cholesterol. Raising HDL cholesterol levels, like lowering LDL cholesterol, may slow coronary artery disease. The FDA approved fluvastatin in December 1993.
What brand names are available for fluvastatin?
Lescol, Lescol XL
Is fluvastatin available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for fluvastatin?
What are the uses for fluvastatin?
Fluvastatin is prescribed for reducing total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and for increasing HDL cholesterol levels in conjunction with a healthy diet. Fluvastatin is also prescribed to reduce the risks of coronary revascularization procedures and slows the progression of coronary heart disease.
What are the side effects of fluvastatin?
Minor side effects of fluvastin include:
Major side effects include:
- abdominal pain or cramps,
- blurred vision,
- easy bruising or bleeding,
- muscle pain or cramps,
- rash, and
- yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Inflammation of the muscles caused by statins can lead to a serious breakdown of muscle cells called rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis causes the release of muscle protein (myoglobin) into the blood. Myoglobin can cause kidney failure and even death. When used alone, statins cause rhabdomyolysis in less than one percent of patients. To prevent the development of rhabdomyolysis, patients taking fluvastatin should contact their health care professional immediately if they develop unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or muscle tenderness.
Statins may cause liver damage although serious liver damage is rare. Blood liver tests should be performed at the beginning of treatment and as needed thereafter to detect liver injury.
Statins have been associated with increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels.
There are also post-marketing reports of memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, confusion, and memory impairment. Symptoms may start one day to years after starting treatment and resolve within a median of three weeks after stopping the statin.
What is the dosage for fluvastatin?
The recommended dose range is 20 to 80 mg daily. Fluvastatin may be given once in the evening or twice daily. It may be taken on an empty or full stomach. Fluvastatin extended release can be administered at anytime of the day. Two 40 mg capsules should not be administered at one time.
Which drugs or supplements interact with fluvastatin?
Cyclosporine and fluconazole (Diflucan) increase blood levels of fluvastatin. Therefore, the dose of fluvastatin should be limited to 20 mg twice daily when patients are also taking cyclosporine or fluconazole.
Gemfibrozil should not be combined with fluvastatin due to increased risk of muscle-related side effects when the two drugs are combined.
Is fluvastatin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Fluvastatin may cause fetal harm and should not be taken by pregnant women.
Fluvastatin should not be used by nursing mothers because of potential adverse side effects to the nursing infant.
What else should I know about fluvastatin?
What preparations of fluvastatin are available?
Capsules: 20 and 40 mg. Tablets (Extended Release): 80 mg
How should I keep fluvastatin stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F) in a tightly closed container.
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Related Disease Conditions
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include: Smoking High blood pressure High cholesterol Diabetes Family history Obesity Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
Rhabdomyolysis is a rapid deterioration and destruction of skeletal muscle. Some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis include: severe burns, muscle trauma, coma, seizures, electrolyte imbalance, medications (statins), viruses, and bacteria. Treatment of rhabdomyolysis depends on the cause.
Cholesterol (Lowering Your Cholesterol)
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in an optimal range will help protect your heart and blood vessels. Cholesterol management may include lifestyle interventions (diet and exercise) as well as medications to get your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides in an optimal range.
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver most likely caused by obesity and diabetes. Symptoms of fatty liver disease are primarily the complications of cirrhosis of the liver; and may include mental changes, liver cancer, the accumulation of fluid in the body (ascites, edema), and gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment for fatty liver includes avoiding certain foods and alcohol. Exercise, weight loss, bariatric surgery, and liver transplantation are treatments for fatty liver disease.
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to prevent or stop this damage to the heart muscle. Heart attack treatments included medications, procedures, and surgeries to protect the heart muscle against injury.
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Good and Bad)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad" cholesterol, are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol through the veins and arteries of the body. HDL and LDL combined, is your "total" blood cholesterol. The difference between the two are that high levels of the "good," or HDL cholesterol, may protect against narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which protects you against heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. But high levels of LDL, or the "bad" cholesterol, may worsen the narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which puts you at a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular diseases, some of which are life threatening.Triglycerides are found in body fat and from the fats you eat.
Lower Cholesterol Levels with Diet and Medications
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is considered "good" cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL or "bad" cholesterol from building up in your arteries. Foods like extra lean meats, skim milk, and vegetable-based "butter-like" substitutes may help decrease LDL levels in the bloodstream.
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back.
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Medications & Supplements
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.