What is Niacin + Lovastatin used for?
This combination medication 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. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid), one of the B vitamins. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and by helping the body remove fats from the blood. Lovastatin belongs to a group of drugs known as “statins.” It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. This product is prescribed after the use of one drug (niacin or lovastatin) has not been fully successful at lowering cholesterol.
In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, drinking less alcohol, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and raising “good” cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Lowering triglycerides in people with very high triglyceride blood levels may also decrease the risk of pancreas disease (pancreatitis).
How should I take Niacin + Lovastatin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Lovastatin and niacin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Lovastatin and niacin is usually taken at bedtime with a low-fat snack. Do not take lovastatin and niacin on an empty stomach.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Niacin can cause side effects such as flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling), dizziness, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath, or feeling like you might pass out. Avoid alcohol, spicy food, or hot beverages (which can make side effects worse) shortly after taking the medicine.
Taking aspirin 30 minutes before your lovastatin and niacin dose may lessen some of these side effects.
You may need to stop taking lovastatin and niacin for a short time if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
If you stop taking lovastatin and niacin for longer than 7 days in a row, talk with your doctor before restarting the medication.
While using lovastatin and niacin, you may need frequent blood tests.
Niacin can raise your blood sugar, and may cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using lovastatin and niacin.
How do I store Niacin + Lovastatin?
Niacin + Lovastatin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Niacin + Lovastatin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Niacin + 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 Niacin + 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.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Niacin + Lovastatin?
Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to niacin or lovastatin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use, stomach/intestinal ulcer, bleeding problems (such as low platelets), low levels of phosphate in the blood, gout.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.
Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. This is especially important if you are also taking medication to lower your blood pressure.
If you have diabetes, this medication may increase your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially muscle problems.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. Lovastatin may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Niacin + Lovastatin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Niacin + Lovastatin. Niacin + 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,
What side effects can occur from Niacin + Lovastatin?
Flushing (warmth/redness/itching/tingling of the skin, especially of the face/neck), sweating, headache, dizziness, or chills may occur within 2 to 4 hours after taking this medication. Flushing may persist for a few hours. These effects should improve or go away after several weeks as your body adjusts to the medication. Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very small number of people taking lovastatin may have mild memory problems or confusion. If these rare effects occur, talk to your doctor.
Rarely, statins may cause or worsen diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: toe/joint pain, fainting, swelling ankles/feet/hands, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, easy bruising/bleeding, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
This drug may rarely cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to very serious conditions called rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms during treatment and if these symptoms persist after your doctor stops this drug: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
This medication may rarely cause liver problems. If you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects, tell your doctor right away: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
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.
What drugs may interact with Niacin + Lovastatin?
Some products that may interact with this drug include: “blood thinners” (such as warfarin), gemfibrozil, vitamin or dietary products that contain niacin or nicotinamide.
Other medications can affect the removal of lovastatin from your body, which may affect how lovastatin works. Examples include certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole), cobicistat, colchicine, cyclosporine, delavirdine, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir, ritonavir), hepatitis C virus protease inhibitors (such as boceprevir, telaprevir), telithromycin, among others.
Do not take any red yeast rice products while you are taking niacin/lovastatin since those products may also contain lovastatin. Taking niacin/lovastatin and red yeast rice products together can increase your risk of serious muscle and liver problems.
This product may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as urine or blood catecholamines, copper-based urine glucose tests). Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this medication.
Niacin + 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.
Does food or alcohol interact with Niacin + Lovastatin?
Niacin + 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 this drug.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
What health conditions may interact with Niacin + Lovastatin?
Niacin + 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.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Niacin + Lovastatin.
What is the dose of Niacin + Lovastatin for an adult?
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications 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).
What is the dose of Niacin + Lovastatin for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Niacin + Lovastatin available?
Niacin + Lovastatin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Oral tablet, extended release
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Niacin + 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: April 5, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019
Niacin-Lovastatin Tablet, Extended Release Multiphase 24 Hr (Tablet, ER Hr). https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-22302/niacin-lovastatin-oral/details. Accessed March 27, 2018.
Lovastatin / niacin Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings. https://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/lovastatin-niacin.html. Accessed March 27, 2018.