lovastatin (generic name)

Altocor (brand name)

It lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood
(LOE va sta tin)
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What is this medicine?

LOVASTATIN (LOE va sta tin) is known as a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or 'statin'. It lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. This drug may also reduce the risk of heart attack or other health problems in patients with risk factors for heart disease. Diet and lifestyle changes are often used with this drug.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • frequently drink alcoholic beverages
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • muscle aches or weakness
  • other medical condition
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lovastatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 10 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • boceprevir
  • certain antibiotics like erythromycin, clarithromycin, and telithromycin
  • certain antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
  • gemfibrozil
  • herbal medicines like red yeast rice
  • medicines for fungal infections like itraconazole, ketoconazole, and posaconazole
  • mifepristone, RU-486
  • nefazodone
  • telaprevir

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • amiodarone
  • colchicine
  • cyclosporine
  • danazol
  • diltiazem
  • fluconazole
  • grapefruit juice
  • other medicines for high cholesterol
  • ranolazine
  • verapamil
  • voriconazole
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check-ups. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.

Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you get any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever and tiredness. Your doctor or health care professional may tell you to stop taking this medicine if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medicine, contact your health care professional.

This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

Do not use this drug if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Serious side effects to an unborn child or to an infant are possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

If you are going to have surgery tell your health care professional that you are taking this drug.

Some drugs may increase the risk of side effects from lovastatin. If you are given certain antibiotics or antifungals, your doctor or health care professional may stop lovastatin for a short time. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

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Last Updated: November 06, 2012
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