What is lovastatin?


Generic Name: Lovastatin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is lovastatin used for?

Lovastatin is used along with a proper diet to help lower “bad” cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as “statins.” It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and raising “good” cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.

In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this Lovastatin work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.

How should I take lovastatin?

Take Lovastatin by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily with your evening meal. Some patients may be directed to take Lovastatin twice daily.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other Lovastatin you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using Lovastatin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of Lovastatin in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take lovastatin at least 1 hour before or at least 4 hours after taking these Lovastatin. These products can react with lovastatin, preventing its full absorption.

Take Lovastatin regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time(s) each day. It is important to continue taking Lovastatin even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.

It is very important to continue to follow your doctor’s advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of Lovastatin.

How do I store lovastatin?

Lovastatin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Lovastatin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Lovastatin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Lovastatin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using lovastatin?

Before taking lovastatin,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lovastatin, any other Lovastatin, or any of the ingredients in lovastatin tablets or extended-release tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following Lovastatin: antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend); boceprevir (Victrelis); clarithromycin (Biaxin); cobicistat-containing Lovastatin (Stribild); erythromycin (E.E.S.,eryc); nefazodone; certain HIV protease inhibitors including atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), saquinavir (Invirase), and tipranavir (Aptivus); telaprevir (Incivek); and telithromycin (Ketek). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take lovastatin if you are taking one or more of these Lovastatin.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription Lovastatin, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); cimetidine (Tagamet); colchicine (Colcrys); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); danazol (Danocrine); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); dronedarone (Multaq); other cholesterol-lowering Lovastatin such as fenofibrate (Tricor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor, Niaspan); spironolactone (Aldactone); ranolazine (Ranexa); and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan) . Many other Lovastatin may also interact with lovastatin, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the Lovastatin you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your Lovastatin or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor will order laboratory tests to see how well your liver is working even if you do not think you have liver disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take lovastatin if you have liver disease or if the tests show that you may be developing liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink more than two alcoholic beverages daily, if you are 65 years of age or older, if you have ever had liver disease or if you have or have ever had seizures, muscle aches or weakness, low blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking lovastatin. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you become pregnant while taking lovastatin, stop taking lovastatin and call your doctor immediately. Lovastatin may harm the fetus.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are taking Lovastatin.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking lovastatin. If you are hospitalized due to serious injury or infection, tell the doctor who treats you that you are taking lovastatin.
  • Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking lovastatin. Alcohol can increase the risk of serious side effects.

Is it safe to take lovastatin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Lovastatin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Lovastatin. Lovastatin is pregnancy risk category X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of lovastatin?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking lovastatin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness;
  • Fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine;
  • Chest pain;
  • Confusion, memory problems;
  • Swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • High blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss); or
  • Nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include: headache; mild muscle pain; joint pain; back pain; mild nausea; stomach pain or indigestion; constipation; or sleep problems (insomnia).

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with lovastatin?

Lovastatin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval, especially:

  • Delavirdine;
  • Fenofibrate;

Does food or alcohol interact with lovastatin?

Lovastatin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using Lovastatin.

  • Grapefruit Juice

What health conditions may interact with lovastatin?

Lovastatin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Alcohol abuse, or history of;
  • Diabetes, poorly-controlled;
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) ;
  • Liver disease, history of—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Electrolyte disorder, ;
  • Endocrine disorder, severe;
  • Epilepsy (seizures), not well-controlled;
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) ;
  • Kidney disease, severe;
  • Metabolic disorder, severe;
  • Sepsis (severe infection)—Patients with these conditions may be at risk for muscle or kidney problems.
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood), familial homozygous—Less effective in patients with this condition.
  • Liver disease, active ;
  • Liver enzymes, elevated—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Lovastatin.

What is the dose of Lovastatin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia

Immediate-release formulation:

  • Initial dose: 20 mg orally once a day with the evening meal.
  • Maintenance dose: 10 to 80 mg orally once a day or in 1 or 2 divided doses.

Extended-release formulation:

  • Initial dose: 20, 40, or 60 mg orally once a day at bedtime. Patients requiring smaller reductions in cholesterol may start with 10 mg orally at bedtime.
  • Maintenance dose: 10 to 60 mg orally given once a day at bedtime

What is the dose of Lovastatin for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia


  • Initial: 10 to 17 years: 10 mg orally once a day
  • Maintenance:
    10 to 17 years: 10 to 40 mg orally once a day

Comments: Dosage adjustments should be made no earlier than every 4 weeks, adding no more than 10 mg to the current dose each time.

  • Extended-release: This formulation of lovastatin is not recommended for pediatric patients.

How is Lovastatin available?

Lovastatin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Tablet, Oral: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services (115) or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Lovastatin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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