- What is fluvastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for fluvastatin?
- Is fluvastatin available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription 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 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.
Quick GuideLower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
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.
Fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL) is a drug belonging to the drug class "statins." Fluvastatin is prescribed for reducing total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and 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. Side effects, drug interactions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
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Treatment & Diagnosis
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- Medication Disposal
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Medications & Supplements
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
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- Drug Interactions
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- atorvastatin (Lipitor) vs. simvastatin (Zocor)
- Zocor (simvastatin) vs. Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- lovastatin, Mevacor, Altoprev
- ezetimibe and simvastatin, Vytorin
- pravastatin, Pravigard PAC (discontinued)
- cerivastatin, Baycol
Prevention & Wellness
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Top fluvastatin Related Articles
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a drug in the statin drug classed prescribed to patients to lower blood cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, elevate HDL cholesterol, to prevent angina, stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, revascularization procedures in heart disease, and prevent heart attacks, and strokes in patients with type 2 diabetes. Side effects of Lipitor include headache, urinary tract infections (UTIs), joint pain, common cold, intestinal gas (flatulence), diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn.
Drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
atorvastatin lipitor vs simvastatin zocorAtorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor) are both statins that lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. These drugs, part of a family called statins, are prescribed to treat a large number of cardiovascular disease, including to prevent heart failure. Learn dosage, side effects, and pregnancy safety information before taking this drug.
Cholesterol Drugs SlidesWhen diet and exercise aren't enough, should you turn to drugs? Learn cholesterol basics, drug classes, and available drugs along with their benefits and side effects.
Cholesterol ManagementHigh 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.
Cholesterol PictureCholesterol carried in particles of low density (LDL cholesterol) is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. See a picture of Cholesterol and learn more about the health topic.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol Differences
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. Triglycerides levels in the blood reflect what you have eaten recently. HDL and LDL cholesterol levels show what you have been eating over a long period of time. If you eat a fatty meal your triglyceride levels will be elevated for a short period of time. If you continue to eat a diet high in fat your triglyceride levels will continue to rise. The liver transfers the triglycerides into body fat, or cholesterol, which raises LDL and lowers HDL levels in the blood.
Healthy (normal) total blood cholesterol levels are determined by the levels of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides in the blood. Talk with your doctor or other health care professional if you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, which can easily be determined with a simple blood test.
VLDL, or very-low- lipoproteins, is a third type of cholesterol. VLDL is another type of "bad" cholesterol that the liver produces, which contains a high amount of triglycerides.
REFERENCE: American Heart Association. "HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides." Updated: Jul 05, 2017.
Heart AttackHeart 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 Attack and Atherosclerosis 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. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pain in the upper abdomen
Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Heart Attack TreatmentA 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.
Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease)
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:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
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.
Liver Blood TestsAn initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the presence of certain liver enzymes in the blood. Under normal circumstances, these enzymes reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream, and can lead to diseases like fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hepatitis. Several medications also can increase liver enzyme test results.
Lower Cholesterol Levels with Diet and Medication
Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body, and is a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol. High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol put a person at risk for heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke), and peripheral artery disease. High cholesterol can be lowered by eating foods that lower cholesterol, for example:
- Eat more high soluble fiber foods (oatmeal, oat bran, vegetables, and certain fruits)
- Use olive oil
- Eat foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods that raise LDL or bad cholesterol include:
- Foods high in saturated and trans fats
- Fatty meats
- Limit egg yolks
- Limit milk products
- Limit crackers, muffins, and snacks
- Avoid unhealthy fast foods that are high in fat and sugar
High cholesterol treatment includes lifestyle changes (diet and exercise), and medications such as statins, bile acid resins, and fibric acid derivatives.
RhabdomyolysisRhabdomyolysis is a rapid deterioration and destruction of skeletal muscle. Some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis include:
- severe burns,
- muscle trauma,
- electrolyte imbalance,
- medications (statins),
- viruses, and
simvastatinZocor (simvastatin) belongs to the drug class of statins and is prescribed for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Statins is a class of drugs prescribed to lower blood cholesterol. Statins also are prescribed for preventing and treating atherosclerosis. Common side effects of statins are
- constipation, and
Serious side effects can occur.
Examples of statins available in the US are
- atorvastatin (Lipitor),
- fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL),
- lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev),
- pravastatin (Pravachol),
- rosuvastatin (Crestor),
- simvastatin (Zocor), and
- pitavastatin (Livalo).
Drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.