Lovastatin helps lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.
Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.
Lovastatin is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Take Lovastatin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take Lovastatin with food. It is best taken in the evening, with dinner. Try to take it at the same time each day.
If you have been given the extended-release tablet, swallow it whole. Do not suck, chew or crush the tablet.
Lovastatin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Lovastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Lovastatin unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Lovastatin if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with Lovastatin, alert your doctor immediately. Lovastatin may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Lovastatin.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Lovastatin.
Alert your doctor if you have liver disease as Lovastatin may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Lovastatin together with certain antibiotics and medicines to treat fungal infection, HIV infection, hepatitis C infection and depression. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you:
- have thyroid disease
- have kidney disease
- consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience muscle pain, weakness or tenderness especially if it is accompanied by fever or general body discomfort.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor, surgeon or dentist that you are taking Lovastatin.
Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to make sure that your liver function is normal before you take Lovastatin and thereafter depending on your doctor's advice.
Common side effects of Lovastatin include any of the following: constipation, stomach pain, wind, indigestion, headache, weakness and difficulty sleeping.
Lovastatin may cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness
- yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- brown or dark-coloured urine
- unusual tiredness
- swollen eyes or mouth, breathlessness
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Lovastatin with the following medicines:
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir
- medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir
- nefazodone (medicine to treat depression)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for heart disease or high blood pressure e.g. amiodarone, diltiazem, verapamil
- other cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, nicotinic acid
- birth control pills
- warfarin (a blood-thinning medicine)
- other medicines such as ciclosporin, danazol, colchicine
- a herbal or food supplement called red yeast rice
Lovastatin should not be taken at the same time as cholestyramine. Cholestyramine reduces the effectiveness of Lovastatin when taken at the same time. If you are taking cholestyramine, take Lovastatin at least 4 hours after you have taken cholestyramine.
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Lovastatin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.