Lovastatin is a drug that lowers triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the blood. In order for treatment to be more effective, the use of lovastatin needs to be balanced with adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as exercise and a low-fat diet.

Lovastatin belongs to the cholesterol-lowering drug class of statins. This drug works by inhibiting the action of enzymes that produce cholesterol in the liver. Thus, the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood will decrease.

Lovastatin can help prevent blockages in blood vessels due to blood cholesterol buildup. Therefore, this drug is used in patients who are at high risk of having angina pectoris , heart attack, or stroke .

Trademarks for lovastatin: Cholvastin, Justin, Lotyn, Minipid

What is Lovastatin

class Prescription drug
Category Statin-class cholesterol-lowering drugs
Benefit Reducing triglyceride and bad cholesterol ( LDL ) levels, and increasing good cholesterol ( HDL ) levels
Consumed by Adults and children over 10 years of age
Lovastatin for pregnant and lactating women
Category X: Drugs in this category should not be used by women who are pregnant or have the possibility of becoming pregnant. Based on how lovastatin works, this drug is considered to have a risk of side effects on the fetus. It is not yet known whether lovastatin can be absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.
Drug form Tablet

Precautions Before Taking Lovastatin

Lovastatin should only be taken with a doctor's prescription. The following are things you need to pay attention to before taking lovastatin:

  • Do not take lovastatin if you are allergic to this drug.
  • Do not take lovastatin if you are currently taking macrolide antibiotics , azole antifungals, or antivirals for HIV or hepatitis C.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or currently have liver disease, kidney disease, muscle disorders  hypothyroidism , diabetes, electrolyte imbalance, seizures , hypotension, metabolic disorders, or hormone disorders.
  • Tell your doctor if you have very high cholesterol levels since childhood.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while on treatment with lovastatin, because it can increase the risk of liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have trouble cutting down on drinking alcohol or are addicted to alcohol .
  • Do not give lovastatin to children under 18 years of age.
  • Consult your doctor about using lovastatin in the elderly to avoid the risk of serious side effects.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking lovastatin if you are having surgery or certain medical procedures, including dental surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Use the most effective contraceptive for you to prevent pregnancy while taking lovastatin, because this drug can increase the risk of side effects on the fetus.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products, to avoid drug interactions.
  • Immediately see a doctor if you have an allergic drug reaction or serious side effects after taking lovastatin.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Lovastatin

The dose of lovastatin given by doctors can be different, depending on the patient's age, condition, and body's response to treatment. Below is a breakdown of lovastatin dosage based on the purpose of treatment:

Purpose: Overcome hyperlipidemia and prevent coronary heart disease

  • Adult: Initial dose of 10–20 mg per day taken at night. After 4 weeks, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 80 mg per day, in 1–2 divided doses.

Purpose: Treating heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol inherited from one parent)

  • Children 10–17 years: Initially 10–20 mg once daily. Dosage may be increased to a maximum of 40 mg once daily 4 weeks apart after initial treatment.

How to Take Lovastatin Properly

Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the information listed on the drug packaging label before taking lovastatin. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor first.

Lovastatin should be taken after meals. Swallow the tablet whole with the help of plain water. Do not chew, split, or crush the tablet before swallowing. Try to take lovastatin at the same time every day for maximum treatment.

If you forget to take lovastatin, take this drug as soon as you remember if the break with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the dose on the next consumption schedule.

Make sure to carry out the control according to the schedule given by the doctor. Usually, you will be asked to have blood and liver function tests before and after taking lovastatin.

Adopt a low LDL diet and do regular exercise while taking lovastatin. This will make it easier for you to achieve normal cholesterol levels, as well as improve heart health.

Store lovastatin in a dry, closed place and avoid direct sunlight. Keep medicine out of reach of children.

Lovastatin Interactions with Other Drugs

Interactions that can occur if lovastatin is used together with other drugs, are:

  • Increased risk of developing myopathy and rhabdomyolysis when used with gemfibrozil , ciclosporin, macrolide antibiotic drugs (such as erythromycin or clarithromycin), azole antifungal drugs (such as ketoconazole or itraconazole ), or antiviral drugs for HIV (such as darunavir )
  • Increased risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulants, such as warfarin
  • Increased risk of lovastatin side effects when used with  danazol , amiodarone, diltiazem, or verapamil 

If you are taking other drugs to lower cholesterol, such as cholestyramine , take lovastatin at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after taking these drugs.

Lovastatin can also interact with food and herbs. Taking grapefruit with lovastatin can increase the risk of side effects. Meanwhile, taking lovastatin with St. St. John's wort might decrease the effectiveness of lovastatin.

Avoid consuming food or drinks that contain grapefruit while taking lovastatin

Lovastatin Side Effects and Dangers

Some of the side effects that may arise from using lovastatin are:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach ache
  • Flatulence or gas
  • Gastric pains
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping ( insomnia )
  • Weak
  • Easy to forget
  • dazed

Check with your doctor if these side effects don't go away or get worse. Immediately consult a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or serious side effects below:

  • Continuous muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, or numbness
  • Weakness in the hip, shoulder, neck, or back muscles
  • Difficulty raising arms, climbing, or standing
  • Kidney problems, which are characterized by difficulty urinating, swelling in the feet or legs, fatigue, or shortness of breath
  • Liver disorders , which are characterized by loss of appetite, upper right abdominal pain, dark urine, or jaundice
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