Brand Names: U.S.
Brand Names: Canada
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to slow the progress of heart disease.
- It is used to lower cholesterol and other harmful types of cholesterol in the body. Good cholesterol (HDL) levels rise.
- It is used to lower triglycerides.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- If you have an allergy to lovastatin, niacin, or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or depression. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
- If you have any of these health problems: Active liver disease, bleeding problems, rise in liver enzymes, or ulcer disease.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
- Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Have your blood work checked. Talk with your doctor.
- This drug may affect certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab workers know you take this drug.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Do not take colestipol or cholestyramine within 4 hours of this drug.
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
- Avoid or limit drinking wine, beer, or mixed drinks to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease. Alcohol may cause more flushing.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Shortness of breath.
- Sweating a lot.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- This drug may cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Sometimes, a very bad muscle problem may happen that may lead to kidney problems. Rarely, deaths have happened in people who get these problems when taking drugs like this one. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness that is not normal (with or without fever or feeling out of sorts). Call your doctor right away if you have muscle signs that last after your doctor has told you to stop taking this drug.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
- Flushing. Taking aspirin 30 minutes before taking this drug may help. If you wake up at night with flushing, get up slowly if you feel like passing out or you are dizzy.
- Upset stomach.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.
- Take at bedtime after a low-fat snack.
- Do not take on an empty stomach.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, hot drinks, or spicy foods when it is time to take this drug.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- If you stop taking this drug, talk with your doctor. You may need to be restarted at a lower dose and raise the dose slowly.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
General drug facts
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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Last updated: February 1, 2014