- 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.
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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